North Korea has appointed its top negotiator in the nuclear talks with Washington as its foreign minister, state media reported Saturday.
At a plenary session of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party chaired by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Choe Son Hui was named as foreign minister.
The appointment comes as political tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have escalated in recent weeks. The United States says it has evidence that shows North Korea is preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test.
US officials claim there are new signs of construction at Punggye-ri, North Korea’s only known nuclear test site.
At the session, Kim vowed to his ruling party that he would use "power for power" to fight threats to the country's sovereignty, but did not mention a nuclear test and offered no details.
"The right to self-defense is an issue of defending sovereignty, clarifying once again the Party's invariable fighting principle of power for power and head-on contest," Kim said.
North Korea has test-fired several ballistic missiles this year; however, it hasn’t conducted a nuclear test since 2017.
This comes after South Korea and the United States carried out a combined military drill last month involving an American aircraft carrier in more than four years.
Pyongyang has frequently protested against joint military exercises involving Seoul and Washington, calling them rehearsals for invasion despite Washington's mantra of diplomacy.