North Korea links nuclear advances to hostile US policy

The U.S.is looking ahead toward a decisive battleground in its bid to destroy the Islamic State group, even as U.S. -backed local forces must still finish the fight for the extremists' two main strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

The agreement came after North Korea conducted its latest ballistic missile test Sunday, claiming the USA was within its sights and it had the capability to fire a large nuclear warhead.

North Korea has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the programme is necessary to counter USA aggression.

USA should "roll back" its hostile policy against North Korea before any dialogue between the two countries can be launched, North Korea's deputy United Nations envoy said.

Kim In Ryong said: "As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured toward dialogue".

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador flatly denied Pyongyang played a part in last week's unprecedented cyberattack, dismissing suspicions raised recently by security researchers in the USA and overseas. He said North Korea would never abandon its "nuclear deterrence for self-defense and pre-emptive strike capability" even if the USA ratchets up sanctions and pressure "to the utmost". South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng told reporters the government's most basic stance is that communication lines between South and North Korea should reopen.

She also added, "It is a fact that no country is immune to North Korea's threats, and hence every nation should feel concerned about it".

U.S. President Donald Trump warned in an interview with Reuters in late April that a "major, major conflict" with the North was possible, but he said he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute over its nuclear and missile programs.

Asked about Beijing and Moscow's support for the six previous rounds of United Nations sanctions, Kim said both countries are "close neighbors" who "understand our nuclear projection occurred through the USA continued nuclear threat and its hostile policy" toward North Korea.

Writing for 38 North, a Johns Hopkins University website dedicated to North Korea issues, analysts Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Jack Liu said satellite imagery taken as recently as May 16 indicate the launch facility was undergoing upgrades.

"The U.S. should mind that the DPRK nuclear striking capability will be strengthened and developed at a rapidly high speed as long as the U.S. insists its anti-DPRK policy, nasty nuclear threats and blackmails, sanction and pressure", he said.

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