The state is reported to be edging closer to nuclear war after secretly moving an an intercontinental ballistic missile to a coastal position
North Korea said nuclear tests are “gift packages” to the United States and that more will follow.
Han Tae Song, the ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the UN in Geneva, made the comment during a UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament today.
The warning comes two days after his country detonated its sixth and largest nuclear test.
“The recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a gift package addressed to none other than the US,” Han told the Geneva forum.
“The US will receive more gift packages from my country as long as its relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK.”
North Korea edged closer to nuclear war on Tuesday morning as it secretly moved an an intercontinental ballistic missile into a coastal position.
Spy sources observed the secretive country moving what appeared to be an ICBM towards its west coast under the cover of darkness, South Korea’s Asia Business Daily reported.
The rocket started moving on Monday, a day after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, and was spotted moving at night to avoid surveillance, the report said.
North Korea has launch facilities for its missile programme on its west coast.
South Korea’s defence ministry said they were unable to confirm the contents of the report.
The ministry said in parliament on Monday that North Korea was considered ready to launch more missiles, including ICBMs, at any time.
The provocative move came as the US Ambassador to the United Nations claimed Kim Jong-un is “begging for war”.
Speaking at an emergency meeting, Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council that war “is never something the United States wants” – but “our country’s patience is not unlimited”.
She also said it was time for the council to impose “the strongest possible measures” on the secretive nation following its sixth and largest nuclear test.
She said that “enough is enough”.
Her comments came as US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, agreed to lift the warhead weight limit on South Korea’s missiles in the wake of North Korea’s latest missile launch.
Ms Haley claimed the incremental sanctions approach of the 15-member council to North Korea since 2006 had not worked.
North Korea’s estimated missile ranges
“Despite our efforts the North Korea nuclear program is more advanced and more dangerous than ever,” she told the council.
“War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now.
“But our country’s patience is not unlimited.”
The meeting was held over North Korea’s latest missile launch yesterday, which the state said was an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile.
Britain has repeatedly warned against war with the country – despite the US’s threats.
Today, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was said to be counting on the Security Council to “remain united and take appropriate action” on North Korea.
His political affairs chief, Jeffrey Feltman, warned the council that “as tensions rise, so does the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation and escalation.”
“The latest serious developments require a comprehensive response in order to break the cycle of provocations from (North Korea). Such a response must include wise and bold diplomacy to be effective,” Mr Feltman said.
China’s UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi, meanwhile, urged North Korea to “stop taking actions that are wrong” and “deteriorating the situation”.
He also called on all parties to “seriously consider” Beijing’s proposal for a joint suspension of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs and military drills by the United States and South Korea.
“We strongly urge (North Korea)… stop taking actions that are wrong, deteriorating the situation and not in line with its own interests either and truly return to the track of resolving the issue through dialogue,” Mr Liu told the Security Council.
North Korea’s nuclear test yesterday was the country’s most powerful.
It prompted global condemnation and drew a warning of a “massive” military response from the US if it or its allies were threatened.
Under an existing missile pact between the United States and South Korea, Seoul’s missile warheads currently face a cap of 500 kg.
But today, South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement that Mr Trump and Mr Moon had agreed to lift the warhead weight limit.
The two presidents made the decision in a phone call, a statement from the Blue House said, where they also agreed now is the time to apply the strongest sanctions and pressure on North Korea and that stronger sanctions would be pursued at the United Nations.
Also today, Theresa May’s office said her “overwhelming” choice over North Korea was a course of action that would keep the peace.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “Our focus is on working with partners to increase pressure on [North] Korea and find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.”