A senior North Korean official said Monday the U.S. has created “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute.”
Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador, added that the Korean Peninsula is “the world’s biggest hot spot” due to American intrusions there.
“[North Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.,” he said Monday in Panmunjom, North Korea, according to The Associated Press.
Kim additionally derided the U.S.-South Korean military exercises being conducted as the “largest-ever aggressive war drill.”
Vice President Pence on Sunday vowed that “the era of strategic patience is over” between the U.S. and North Korea.
“The people of North Korea, the military of North Korea, should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies,” he said during remarks at the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.
“But all options are on the table as we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of South Korea for denuclearization of this peninsula and for the long-term prosperity and freedom of the people of South Korea.”
North Korea attempted but failed to launch a ballistic missile on its east coast Sunday, the latest sign of rising tensions in Asia.
A U.S. official said Sunday the projectile “blew up almost immediately,” and the type of missile remains under assessment.
President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE ordered a Navy strike group led by an aircraft carrier to the western Pacific Ocean last week as a show of force while U.S. officials mull increased economic sanctions on Pyongyang.
Trump has said he will rely on China to put pressure on Pyongyang to halt its nuclear weapons program and missile testing but has threatened more direct action.
"North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!" Trump tweeted last week.