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WASHINGTON, March 28. /TASS/. The US Department of State has urged North Korea to refrain from statements that raise tensions in the region after North Korean Foreign Minister Lee Su-yong told TASS that Pyongyang was ready to make a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
"We call on North Korea to refrain from actions and rhetoric that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments and obligations," Noel Clay, a spokesman for the US Department of State, said on Monday.
"The DPRK has placed its army into the state of its readiness to deliver a pre-emptive nuclear strike in response to the US hostile activities," the North Korean top diplomat said in an interview with TASS.
"In response to the US frenzied hysteria for unleashing a nuclear war, we have fully transferred our army from the form of military response to the form of delivering a pre-emptive strike and state resolutely about the readiness to deliver a pre-emptive nuclear strike," the North Korean foreign minister said.
"In a word, the Korean peninsula faces the dilemma: a thermonuclear war or peace," the North Korean foreign minister said.
"The United States is shifting the center of strategy for supremacy over the entire world to the Asian-Pacific region and has defined the DPRK as target No. 1 for the attack," the minister said.
On March 15, North Korea announced its intention to shortly carry out new tests of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Early in February, Pyongyang said a rocket carrying a satellite had been launched, while on January 6 Pyongyang carried out its fourth in the past ten years underground nuclear test.
On March 2, the UN Security Council passed a resolution tightening sanctions against North Korea in reaction to its nuclear test in January and rocket launch in February and urged Pyongyang to refrain from such acts.