North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during a banquet in
Pyongyang in December for scientists, engineers, workers
and officers who took part in the launch of the Unha-3
(Milky Way 3) rocket. REUTERS/KCNA/Files
The White House has denounced threats by North Korea to
carry out further rocket launches and a nuclear test as
"needlessly provocative," saying such actions would violate UN
resolutions and increase Pyongyang's diplomatic isolation.
North Korea's top military body said "the various satellites
and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level
nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United
States," which it called Pyongyang's "sworn enemy."
The announcement followed UN Security Council approval on
Tuesday of a US-backed resolution to censure and sanction
North Korea for a rocket launch in December that breached UN
"North Korea's statement is needlessly provocative and a test
would be a significant violation of United Nations Security
Council resolutions," White House spokesman Jay Carney told
reporters. "Further provocations would only increase
Carney said Tuesday's Security Council decision "would help
impede the growth of weapons of mass destruction programs in
North Korea ... and the United States will be making, taking
additional steps in that regard."
North Korea is not believed to have the technology to deliver
a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United
States, although its December launch showed it had the
capacity to deliver a rocket that could travel 10,000 km
(6,200 miles), potentially putting San Francisco in range,
according to an intelligence assessment by South Korea.
Asked whether North Korea's latest threat provided any signs
of the direction being taken by its new young leader, leader
Kim Jong-un, Carney said: "We judge North Korea by its
actions ... We certainly haven't seen a noticeable change in