In North Korea's boldest statement about its nuclear weapons program, the communist state has explicitly acknowledged that it possesses nuclear weapons.
North Korea also rejected six-party disarmament talks, citing what it calls Washington's hostile policy towards Pyongyang. The country said it will keep its atomic weapons as a deterrent.
North Korea has hinted in the past about developing nuclear weapons, but Thursday's statement from the Foreign Ministry is the clearest formal acknowledgment of its weapons program.
The statement said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent characterization of North Korea as an "outpost of tyranny" gave Pyongyang no reason to participate in talks.
Ms. Rice says Washington has no intention of attacking North Korea and the country is only deepening its isolation with Thursday's announcement.