North Korea has learnt from US military interventions in countries like Afghanistan and Libya that they attack and suppress only "weak" nations and thus, the only way to protect the North is by bolstering its nuclear capabilities, Pyongyang ambassador to the UK said on Tuesday (9 May).

Choe Il, who took over the role in late 2016, warned that the US will not be able to attack North Korea first, because all American strategic assets will be turned to ashes at the first sign of movement towards an attack.

The envoy reiterated that the sixth nuclear test will be conducted soon at the will of their supreme leader and added that more ballistic missile tests will also be conducted as North Korea was not afraid of sanctions and warnings.

"If we were afraid of it, we probably would not have started conducting nuclear tests or launching ballistic missiles," the ambassador told Sky News when asked if he was concerned about the prospect of a US military action against his country. "We are developing our nuclear strength to respond to that kind of attack by the US.

"If the US attack us, our military and people are fully ready to respond to any kind of attack," he warned.

He added: "The US cannot attack us first. If the US moves an inch, then we are ready to turn to ashes any available strategic assets of the US."

North Korea live fire exercise
North Korean ambassador to the UK Choe Il said the country has learnt its lessons from US military interventions in other weaker nations and hence, the Kim Jong-un (in picture) regime must bolster nuclear strength - File photo KCNA via KNS/AFP

Choe accused the United Nations of "double standards" and said that sanctions imposed by the organisation were illegal and ineffective. He added that North Korea has been living under sanctions for the past six decades and does not pay heed to them at all.

"The UN Security Council has been sanctioning against us whenever we launch missiles or satellites and carry out nuclear tests. As the sanctions do not have any legal grounds, we do not care about them, nor accept them."

The envoy denied allegations that the regime's nuclear ambitions have negatively impacted social and economic development of the country. "I do not think our nuclear development has made our people's lives difficult. Our nuclear power is a result of the US hostile policy against us," the ambassador said.

He added: "Our nuclear power is our sovereign right. It is the only way to protect the peace of the Korean Peninsula and the region."

When asked if there was any possibility of the Kim Jong-un regime engaging in peace talks with its adversaries, Choe replied that they have learnt from US military interventions elsewhere in the world that only the weak nations are suppressed and thus, they will continue to strengthen their power.

"The only way to protect our country is that we strengthen our power enough to suppress any enemy countries. This is the only way to protect our peace and security. This is a lesson we felt in our bones.

"As you have read in newspapers, the US has been attacking only the weak countries, including Afghanistan and Libya.

"They cannot actually attack the strong countries, although they talk about it.

"We have to have nuclear power. We have shown our strong military power and nuclear power this April. Because of our strong military power, the US could not attack us first."