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By Ryan Pickrell
North Korea is determined to continue testing missiles and nukes, the country’s senior officials said Monday.
“We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol told BBC. He also said that if the U.S. took military action against the North, the end result would be “all out war.”
While Pyongyang did not test a nuclear weapon over the weekend as was expected, the North still has one in the chamber. The Punggye-ri nuclear test site is still “primed and ready” for a sixth nuclear test.
The North will test a nuclear weapon when the country’s leadership demands it do so, North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim In-ryong said Monday, repeating the words of North Korea’s vice foreign minister.
Noting the tension on the Korean peninsula, ambassador Kim said that “thermo-nuclear war may break out at any moment.”
“The Trump administration … has entered path of open threat and blackmail,” he added, “We will taken toughest counteractions for defense.”
North Korea tested a missile Sunday, the eighth since President Donald Trump took office. The missile failed, but the provocation is troubling just the same.
White House National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster warned Sunday that “this problem is coming to a head,” adding that “this can’t continue.”
In South Korea, Vice President Mike Pence said that North Korea should take note of what the new administration has done to other international troublemakers in recent weeks. “Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” Pence said Monday.
“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve — or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region,” the vice president added in a clear warning to the reclusive regime.