North Korea on Thursday announced it would carry out further rocket launches and nuclear tests targeting the US.
The move comes despite the UN Security Council’s condemnation of the rogue state’s nuclear ambitions in a US-backed resolution.
“We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States,” North Korea’s National Defence Commission said, according to state news agency KCNA.
Thursday’s statement came as Pyongyang dramatically ramps up its threats to a country it describes as its “sworn enemy”, Reuters reports.
China, the isolated nation’s main ally, has agreed to the resolution and urged the “relevant party” not to take any steps that would raise tensions.
“We hope the relevant party can remain calm and act and speak in a cautious and prudent way and not take any steps which may further worsen the situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing.
Washington also urged Pyongyang not to proceed with a third nuclear test – a violation of previous UN resolutions – that would stoke tensions in the Korean peninsula.
Pyongyang has refused proposals to restart the six-party talks with the US, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea amid growing concerns that the reclusive state is planning a nuclear test and is “technically ready” for such tests using highly enriched uranium for the first time, paving the way for bombs.
“The UN Security Council resolution masterminded by the US has brought its hostile policy towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to its most dangerous stage,” the commission was quoted as saying.