(CN) – North Korea’s foreign minister on Monday issued a new threat against the United States and said that “under no circumstances” would North Korea give up its nuclear weapons.
“We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on [the] negotiating table,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said at the ASEAN Regional Forum Monday, according to the Washington Post. “Neither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves, unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S. against the D.P.R.K. are fundamentally eliminated.”
Ri also warned the United States that North Korea’s weapons can reach the United States and that North Korea would be willing to use its missiles against any country that might threaten the use of military force. Ri’s comments come days after the United Nations Security Council passed new sanctions against North Korea, which the Trump administration has hailed as a foreign policy victory.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a press conference Monday that the United States is open to negotiating with North Korea on a deal “so that they feel secure and prosper economically,” but that the country would have to give up its ballistic missile tests before any such talks could start.
“This is really about the spirit of these talks and they can demonstrate they’re ready to sit with a spirit of finding a way forward in these talks by no longer conducting these missile tests,” Tillerson said. “So this is not a ‘Give me 30 days and we’re ready to talk.’ It’s not quite that simple. So it is all about how we see their attitude towards approaching a dialogue with us.”
North Korea most recently tested a ballistic missile on July 28.
President Donald Trump has praised the U.N. vote, and on Monday complained on Twitter that the “Fake News Media” has not reported the deal as much as he would like. On Sunday, a day after the sanctions passed the Security Council unanimously, Trump tweeted he was “very happy and impressed” with the vote.
“President Donald J. Trump commends the United Nations Security Council for passing a new resolution that increases sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent ballistic missile tests,” a White House statement on the vote from Saturday read. “The president appreciates China’s and Russia’s cooperation in securing passage of this resolution. He will continue working with allies and partners to increase economic pressure on North Korea to end its threatening and destabilizing behavior.”