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North Korea Warns US Of More Nuclear Tests And Missile Launches

North Korea is now a nuclear threat to be reckoned with, the country’s top official for U.S. affairs told the Associated Press Friday.

Director-General of the department of U.S. affairs at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry Han Song Ryol said that Washington can expect more nuclear tests and missile launches, like those earlier this week, if the U.S. continues in its attempts to weaken the North Korean government through its policy of pressure and punishment. This was his first interview with an American news organization since assuming his post three years ago.

“It’s the United States that caused this issue,” he said, “They have to stop their military threats, sanctions and economic pressure. Without doing so, it’s like they are telling us to reconcile while they are putting a gun to our forehead.”

On Wednesday, North Korea test-launched two medium-range ballistic missiles. These tests, condemned by Washington, Tokyo and Seoul as a violation of the United Nations resolutions, reportedly show the country’s advances in its missile capabilities.

“These provocations only serve to increase the international community’s resolve to counter the DPRK’s prohibited activities, including through implementing existing U.N. Security Council sanctions,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “We intend to raise our concerns at the U.N. to bolster the international resolve in holding the DPRK accountable for these provocative actions.”

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