North Korea on Monday made clear that it will never negotiate the dismantling of its nuclear weapons unless the United States reverses its "hostile" policy.
The country's deputy UN Ambassador, Kim In Ryong, told the General Assembly's committee on disarmament that the situation on the Korean peninsula "has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment."
"Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the U.S. is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiation table under any circumstance," he said, according to comments quoted by the AFP news agency.
Kim's comments come a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he would continue his diplomatic efforts vis-a-vis North Korea “until the first bomb drops.”
In an interview with CNN, Tillerson said that, despite Trump's recent tweets which appeared to indicate he was uninterested in speaking with North Korea, the president wanted to avoid war and preferred diplomacy.
Following a series of missile launches and a sixth nuclear test, the North Korean envoy said Monday his country "had passed the final gate" toward becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, with the means to deliver a nuclear strike.
"The entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range and if the US dares to invade our sacred territory, even an inch, it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe," said the North Korean diplomat, according to AFP.
The United States and South Korea on Monday began a 10-day joint naval exercise in a fresh show of force against the North.
Kim said North Korea will not target any country that does not join a U.S.-led military campaign.
In response to the anti-aircraft missile, the IAF sent out a second sortie, which targeted the anti-aircraft system and “incapacitated” the offending SA-5 battery, the IDF said.