In a challenge to the global order, North Korea has issued a threat that it will become "world's most powerful nuclear and military state".
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"There is no doubt that the DPRK's pursuit of a nuclear arsenal is in clear violation of worldwide law, directly challenges the global nonproliferation regime, and greatly threatens worldwide peace and security", he said, using an acronym North Korea uses to refer to itself.
It said: "Should the United States and its followers try to enforce the naval blockade against our country, we will see it as an act of war and respond with merciless self-defence counter-measures as we have warned repeatedly".
"I think what Secretary Tillerson spoke to was we want to have a dialogue with them".
He stated that there is "no daylight between the President's policy and the pursuit of that policy" on North Korea, addressing questions about a possible rift between the White House and State Department on starting talks with Pyongyang.
Pyongyang's assertion of ambitions to global supremacy came on Friday after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council, "The situation on the Korean Peninsula is the most tense and risky peace and security issue in the world today". These incoherent power games are never going to win the trust of any country, let alone North Korea. Later speaking to reporters, Tillerson said that Washington would not accept any preconditions for talks with Pyongyang.
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The U.N. chief warned that "the risk is being multiplied by misplaced over-confidence, risky narratives and rhetoric, and the lack of communication channels". "We will, in the meantime, keep our channels of communication open", Tillerson said.
About 70 per cent of the North Korean population is already categorised as "food insecure", meaning constantly struggling against hunger, and growth stunting occurs in one in four children. But he stepped back Friday, after the White House rebutted the proposal, telling the council "North Korea must earn its way back to the table".
China's deputy United Nations ambassador, Wu Haitao, called for early resumption of dialogue.
North Korea's friends and enemies joined forces Friday in opposing its determination to be recognized as a nuclear weapons state and calling on leader Kim Jong Un to negotiate the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula - but the North gave no sign of budging on its nuclear ambitions. "This is critical to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and reduce tensions in the region".
Pyongyang has carried out its sixth nuclear test and conducted a series of missile launches including its first tests of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) this year.
Information for this article was contributed by Matthew Pennington, Edith M. Lederer, Mari Yamaguchi, Jerry Harmer and Ken Moritsugu of The Associated Press; and by Nick Wadhams, Kambiz Foroohar and Justin Sink of Bloomberg News.
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