White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says North Korea's people should know that their own government is a threat to them -- and that the threat doesn't come from the United States.
North Korea today threatened for the first time to develop a nuclear deterrent against a U-S attack.
Fleischer says the real threat to the security of the people of North Korea comes from a government that starves its own people.
The statement from the North's official news agency also says a nuclear buildup isn't intended to threaten or blackmail. Instead, it says North Korea intends to reduce conventional weapons, and channel more resources into improving the economy and the quality of life.
Fleischer says North Korea is acknowledging that the government's decisions have caused the people's suffering. He says perhaps the North will now decide to put feeding its people first.