The top North Korean official for U.S. relations told The Associated Press on Friday that his country is now a nuclear threat to be reckoned with, and Washington can expect more nuclear tests and missile launches like the ones earlier this week as long as it attempts to force his government's collapse through a policy of pressure and punishment.
The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned two North Korean ballistic missile launches this week, calling them a "grave violation" of a ban on all ballistic missile activity that is contributing to the country's nuclear weapons program.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trumpeted the success of a powerful new midrange ballistic missile test that state media said Thursday propelled one of the weapons more than 1,400 kilometres (870 miles) high.
Diplomats from the U.S. and North Korea are attending a six-nation security forum in Beijing on Wednesday, in a rare opportunity for contact between them after the North fired two suspected powerful new ballistic missiles.
In a remarkable show of persistence, North Korea on Wednesday fired two suspected powerful new Musudan midrange ballistic missiles, U.S. and South Korean military officials said, its fifth and sixth such attempts since April.
The United States on Wednesday proposed new restrictions to close off North Korea's access to the international financial system and to prevent the reclusive communist country from using banks to launder money that could be used for nuclear weapons.
A North Korean missile launch likely failed on Tuesday, the U.S. and South Korean militaries said, the fourth in a series of high-profile failures that somewhat temper recent worries that the North is pushing quickly toward its goal of a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach America's mainland.
North Korea on Saturday threatened to fire at South Korean warships if they cross into its waters, a day after the South's navy fired warning shots to chase away two North Korean ships that briefly crossed a disputed western sea boundary.