04/01/2013 11:32 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2013

Kim Jong Un, North Korean Leader, Calls Nuclear Weapons A 'Reliable War Deterrent'

SEOUL, April 2 (Reuters) - North Korean nuclear weapons act as a deterrent to potential aggressors and as a foundation for its prosperity, the country's leader said in a speech delivered on Sunday and published in full by the country's KCNA news agency on Tuesday.

"Our nuclear strength is a reliable war deterrent and a guarantee to protect our sovereignty," Kim Jong-un said in a speech delivered to the central committee meeting of the ruling Workers Party of Korea.

The speech appeared to emphasize a shift to economic development and accused the United States of seeking to drag North Korea into an arms race in a bid to create obstacles to economic improvement. (Reporting by David Chance; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)