Park Byung-soo, Kwon Tae-ho and Jung Nam-ku report:
Seoul and Washington responded sensitively to news of North Korea listing itself as a nuclear state in its amended Constitution in April. Both governments immediately said that they would not recognize Pyongyang as a nuclear power.
North Korea openly sought nuclear capability since first declaring in a Feb. 2005 foreign ministry statement that it had succeeded in developing nuclear weapons. But South Korea, the US, and other countries disputed this, arguing that Pyongyang was attempting to gain recognition as a nuclear state outside the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) like India, Pakistan, or Israel.
Pyongyang’s decision to list itself as a nuclear state indicates that it has no intention of giving up its nuclear program. The North Korean regime apparently has not been deterred by the possibility of an international dispute, given Washington and Seoul’s refusal to recognize its right to nuclear arms.