North Korea links nuclear advances to hostile United States policy

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The U.S.is looking ahead toward a decisive battleground in its bid to destroy the Islamic State group, even as U.S. -backed local forces must still finish the fight for the extremists’ two main strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

Friday’s news conference came after a string of provocations by the North – seven test launches of ballistic missiles this year alone – generally followed by condemnation from the worldwide community.

USA should “roll back” its hostile policy against North Korea before any dialogue between the two countries can be launched, North Korea’s deputy United Nations envoy said.

He said North Korea “probably learned a lot” from last weekend’s test.

“As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured (toward) dialogue”, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador, Kim In Ryong, told reporters on Friday.

“The most impressive thing that I heard (from Tillerson) was that sanctions and pressure are not by themselves aimed at harassing North Korea, but are designed to create an opportunity for North Korea’s development through opening its doors and scrapping its nuclear program”, Hong said.

Speaking to reporters, Kim hailed the test launch and said that if the Trump administration wants peace on the divided Korean Peninsula, it should replace the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy.

“The more the USA increases pressure against us, the more we will ramp up our efforts to boost our nuclear deterrence”, a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The North also probably has a way to go before it can miniaturize a nuclear warhead to mount on such a missile.

North Korea is also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

All 15 members of the Security Council including North Korea’s closest ally China called the launch a violation of United Nations sanctions and vowed to take new measures, including additional sanctions.

North Korea’s foreign ministry said that the U.S.is driving a scheme to put sanctions and pressure on North Korea, raising tensions on the divided peninsula.

Meanwhile, the South Korean Navy revealed a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier group was to remain in the vicinity indefinitely, while Seoul’s defense ministry warned it was ready to carry out a preemptive strike if it detected a missile threat from North Korea. A US State Department spokesman said the country would have to “cease all its illegal activities and aggressive behaviour in the region”. He also said the North’s nuclear and missile capabilities seem to have advanced rapidly recently but that the South was ready and capable of striking back should the North attack.

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