Incoming U.S. President Donald Trump has responded to threats by North Korea that it was in the final stage to test a new intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the U.S. mainland.
“North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S.
“It won’t happen!
“China has been taking out massive amounts of money and wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!” Trump tweeted.
The U.S. had also warned North Korea against carrying out “provocative actions”, according to newswire.
The Pentagon issued a statement warning North Korea that it would face serious consequences if it makes good on its most recent threat of testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The warning came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced the regime’s plans to test the new nuclear weapon.
In his annual New Year’s address, Kim said that after testing what the North claims was its first hydrogen bomb last year, preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have “reached the final stage”.
“We are in the final stages of test-launching the intercontinental ballistic missile,” he was quoted as saying, describing his country as a “military power of the East that cannot be touched by even the strongest enemy”.
Kim has a birthday coming up on Jan. 8, and in 2016, Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6.
The North Korean leader threatened in the address to boost his country’s military capabilities further unless the U.S. ends war games with rival South Korea.
“The political and military position of socialism should be further cemented as an invincible fortress,” Kim said, according to an outline of the speech carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
“We should resolutely smash the enemies’ despicable and vicious moves to dampen the pure and ardent desire of the people for the party and estrange the people from it”.
In its response, the Pentagon advised Pyongyang to “refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric that threaten international peace and stability.”
It also highlighted that “multiple UN Security Council resolutions explicitly prohibit North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology”.
North Korea had defied the pressures to stop its nuclear and missile programs by insisting on its right to develop the technologies for “self-defense”.
Pyongyang will continue to boost its military capacity, Kim said, until Washington puts an end to its regular military exercises in the region with rival South Korea.
The Pentagon, however, reaffirmed America’s “ironclad commitment” to its allies in the region, noting that Washington would resort to “the full spectrum of U.S. extended deterrence capabilities” to keep that promise.
The U.S. has long been deploying advanced weaponry to South Korea under the pretext of defending the country against the North’s aggression. (NAN)