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North Korea: Nukes are our country's 'life'

NBC's Ian Williams reports on the latest tensions emanating from North Korea.

One of North Korea's top decision-making bodies is setting guidelines that call nuclear weapons "the nation's life" that won't be traded even for "billions of dollars,” The Associated Press reported.

The statement Sunday came after a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party attended by leader Kim Jong Un and other officials, the AP said.

It also followed a declaration on Saturday that it was entering a "state of war" with South Korea, the latest in a string of increasingly belligerent outbursts from the isolated state.

Sunday’s statement says nuclear weapons aren't "goods for getting U.S. dollars" or a "political bargaining chip." Outside analysts have said Pyongyang raises worries over its nuclear ambitions to spur nuclear-disarmament-for-aid talks, the AP said.

David Guttenfelder / AP

As chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press, David Guttenfelder has had unprecedented access to communist North Korea. Here's a rare look at daily life in the secretive country.

It said Pyongyang will also increase work to build up the economy. Kim has made fixing the moribund economy a focus.

On Thursday the U.S. sent two nuclear-capable bombers to South Korea, where they dropped inert munitions in a military exercise. The flight sparked an angry response from the North, which declared on Friday that it was preparing rockets aimed at American bases in South Korea and the Pacific.

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