North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country’s weapons development is self defence in the face of hostile policies from the United States and a military buildup in South Korea that is destabilising the peninsula, state media said on Tuesday.

Pyongyang was only increasing its military in self-defence and not to start a war, Kim said in a speech at the Defence Development Exhibition, according to a report by state news agency KCNA.

“We are not discussing war with anyone, but rather to prevent war itself and to literally increase war deterrence for the protection of national sovereignty,” he said.

Despite statements from Washington that it holds no hostile feelings toward North Korea, those assertions are hard to believe in the face of its continued “wrong judgments and actions,” Kim said, without elaborating.