North Korea has warned the United States that Pyongyang is prepared to send “more gift packages” to Washington, two days after the peninsular Asian country sent shock waves across the world by detonating a hydrogen bomb, purportedly designed for a long-range missile.
Han Tae Song, the ambassador of North Korea to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, made the remark on Tuesday, while addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.
“The US will receive more 'gift packages' from my country as long as it relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] DPRK,” the North Korean official said without elaborating.
There has been an international uproar over Pyongyang’s sixth and the biggest nuclear test to date, which was conducted on September 3. The bomb was also about three times more powerful than America's atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
China, Russia and South Korea are among the countries that have voiced strong criticism of the North's sixth nuclear test. Washington has also censured Pyongyang, and President Donald Trump has described North Korea as a “rogue nation,” which has become a “great threat and embarrassment” to China, North Korea's main ally.
Experts on North Korea have already warned that aggressive rhetoric could backfire on Trump, convincing Pyongyang that it is in imminent danger and triggering what he sees as a preemptive attack.
“I am proud of saying that just two days ago on the 3rd of September, [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] DPRK successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test for intercontinental ballistic rocket under its plan for building a strategic nuclear force,” Han told the forum.
He added that the hydrogen bomb test and other recent “self-defense measures” carried out by the North were in fact a “gift package” addressed solely to Washington.
North Korea is under mounting international pressure over its missile and military nuclear programs and has been subjected to an array of sanctions by the United Nations. However, Pyongyang says it needs to continue and develop the programs as a deterrent against hostility by the United States and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan.
The nuclear and missile programs were in fact “an exercise of restraint and justified self-defense right" to counter “the ever-growing and decade-long US nuclear threat and hostile policy aimed at isolating my country,” Han said.
Pyongyang’s senior diplomat also touched upon the issue of sanctions against North Korea, saying “pressure or sanctions” would never work on the country.
The United States and its allies do not rule out a military option against North Korea, but Russia and China warn that no military solution is available for resolving the escalating crisis, saying the current standoff will only be resolved through dialogue.
Han stressed that the North would never “under any circumstances put its nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of a global catastrophe if parties to tensions on the Korean Peninsula did not end their military rhetoric, saying the North would not abandon its nuclear program unless it felt secure.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have heightened since Washington recently engineered tougher sanctions in the United Nations Security Council over the North’s testing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
On Monday, the South Korean military said the North was preparing for another missile launch, possibly an ICBM test, a few hours after Seoul conducted a live-fire ballistic missile exercise, simulating an attack on the North’s main nuclear site.