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

In this Sunday, March 31, 2013 photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo Monday, April 1, 2013 by the Korea News Service, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives a speech during a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea. After weeks of war-like rhetoric, North Korean leader Kim gathered legislators Monday for an annual spring parliamentary session taking place one day after top party officials adopted a statement declaring building nuclear weapons and the economy the nation's top priorities. (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS) JAPAN OUT UNTIL 14 DAYS AFTER THE DAY OF TRANSMISSION
In this Sunday, March 31, 2013 photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo Monday, April 1, 2013 by the Korea News Service, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives a speech during a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea. After weeks of war-like rhetoric, North Korean leader Kim gathered legislators Monday for an annual spring parliamentary session taking place one day after top party officials adopted a statement declaring building nuclear weapons and the economy the nation's top priorities. (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS) JAPAN OUT UNTIL 14 DAYS AFTER THE DAY OF TRANSMISSION

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)