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PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — The Latest on tensions on the Korean Peninsula (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

North Korea’s vice foreign minister says it will conduct its next nuclear test whenever its supreme headquarters sees fit.

Vice Minister Han Song Ryol made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang on Friday. He also said the situation on the Korean Peninsula was in a “vicious cycle” as tensions with the U.S. and its allies deepen.

Outside experts say the North could conduct its sixth nuclear test at virtually anytime. Meanwhile, the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to the region and is conducting its biggest ever joint military exercises with South Korea.

Han told AP that Pyongyang won’t “keep its arms crossed” in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike.

Many experts believe North Korea could have a viable nuclear warhead and a ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland within the next few years.

11:30 a.m.

North Korea’s vice foreign minister says the situation on the Korean Peninsula is now in a “vicious cycle.”

Vice Minister Han Song Ryol made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang on Friday.

Tensions are deepening as the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to waters off the peninsula and is conducting its biggest-ever joint military exercises with South Korea. Pyongyang, meanwhile, recently launched a ballistic missile and some experts say it could conduct another nuclear test at virtually anytime.

President Donald Trump upped the ante in a war of words with Pyongyang in a tweet on Tuesday that said the North is “looking for trouble.”