(FreedomBeacon.com)- Following North Korea’s weekend test of what it described as a tactical guided missile, the United States State Department warned that the country would suffer consequences if it continued to engage in provocations.
Department spokeswoman Ned Price blasted Pyongyang’s recent provocations, including its latest test of what he dubbed a long-range artillery weapon, at a news conference on Monday (U.S. time). He also stated that North Korea had provided no sign that it was ready for discussion.
Price said they have stated on several occasions that we have no hostile intent toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The United States has not closed the door on dialogue.
Price stated that Pyongyang’s weapons tests have demonstrated that the country continues to prioritize its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs at the expense of regional and international security. The United States has responded with diplomatic, economic, and military measures.
Price stated that U.S. actions are meant to make it clear to the DPRK that its escalated behavior will have repercussions. Those ramifications will remain as long as the DPRK continues to provoke the international community.
In response to North Korea’s missile launches in recent months, the United States has slapped fresh unilateral sanctions on the country and pursued further United Nations designations but has so far been unsuccessful due to an apparent lack of support from China and Russia among others.
The United States’ point man on DPRK policy, Sung Kim, called on the United Nations Security Council during a news conference in Seoul on Monday to send a “clear signal” that it would not tolerate North Korea’s “escalatory” threats.
The United States and South Korea began a nine-day joint military exercise on Monday, marking the beginning of the new year. The South Korean government portrayed the command post drills as a chance to enhance the partners’ combined defense posture. At the same time, the Pentagon described them as a demonstration of the United States’ security obligations to its South Korean friends.