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UN Nuclear War Warning

(WEBPUBLICAPRESS) UNITED NATIONS New York - Pyongyang wants a nuclear-free world, but a nuclear war might still start due to “extreme and direct” US threat, North Korean deputy UN envoy Kim In Ryong said. Separately, the US hinted at direct talks with North Korea, Radio Deutsche Welle (RDW) reported quoting other agencies.

Nordkorea UN Botschafter Kim In Ryong (picture-alliance/Photoshot/L. Rampelotto)

The situation on the Korean Peninsula “has reached a touch-and-go-point and nuclear war may break out at any moment,” North Korean deputy ambassador Kim In Ryong told the UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee on Monday.

“The entire US 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,” he said.

While North Korea routinely exaggerates both the power and range of its nuclear arsenal, the isolated state has performed six nuclear tests since 2006 and its ballistic missiles are believed to be capable of reaching the US territory of Guam. International efforts by the US, the EU, Russia, and Pyongyang’s closest ally China, yielded little result in halting the nuclear arms program.

Read more: North Korea ‘hacked US-South Korea war plans’

Kim Jong-un: North Korea’s dangerous leader

Addressing the disarmament committee on Monday, Kim In Ryong said that his country supports “the total elimination of nuclear weapons” in the entire world. However, as long as the US “constantly threatens and blackmails [Pyongyang] with nuclear weapons,” North Korea cannot disarm, he said.

According to the diplomat, “no country in the world has been subjected to such an extreme and direct nuclear threat from the US for such a long time.”

Trump’s Twitter fallout

His remarks follow a statement from the US State Department head Rex Tillerson, who told the US media that diplomatic efforts to diffuse the crisis would continue ”until the first bomb drops.”

Read more: Can Jimmy Carter bring peace to the Korean Peninsula?

While Tillerson has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, other key US officials have used far more bellicose language. In August, US President Donald Trump pledged to respond to threats from North Korea with “fire and fury” such as the world has never seen.

He later seemed to undermine Tillerson on Twitter, saying was “wasting his time” by negotiating with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, repeatedly calling the young dictator “Little Rocket Man,” or variations thereupon.

“Save your energy, Rex, we’ll do what has to be done,” he added.

‘Direct talks’ or preparing for the worst?

On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan hinted at the possibility of direct talks between North Korea and the US during a visit to Japan. While other countries, including China, urged such talks, the US and Japan have been reluctant to negotiate as Pyongyang continues to pursue its nuclear and ballistic programs.

Sullivan said that the US is focusing on diplomacy to resolve the crisis.

“Eventually, we don’t rule out the possibility of course of direct talks,” Sullivan said after meeting his Japanese counterpart in Tokyo.

“We must, however, with our allies, Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst should diplomacy fail,” he said.

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