U.S. Army's armored vehicle moves during the annual exercise in Paju, near the border with North Korea, Friday, April 1, 2016. North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea on Friday, Seoul officials said, hours after the U.S., South Korean and Japanese leaders pledged to work closer together to prevent North Korea from advancing its nuclear and missile programs.
U.S. Army's armored vehicle moves during the annual exercise in Paju, near the border with North Korea, Friday, April 1, 2016. North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea on Friday, Seoul officials said, hours after the U.S., South Korean and Japanese leaders pledged to work closer together to prevent North Korea from advancing its nuclear and missile programs. AP Photo - Ahn Young-joon

Korean peninsula in state of semi-war, Pyongyang envoy says

NORTH Korea will pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile program in defiance of the United States and its allies, a top Pyongyang envoy has said, adding that a state of "semi-war" now exists on the divided Korean peninsula.

So Se Pyong, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, denounced the huge joint US-South Korean military exercises taking place which he said were aimed at the "decapitation of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea]" and conquering Pyongyang.

The North conducted a fourth nuclear test in January and launched a long-range rocket in February. The South Korean military said on Friday that North Korea had fired a missile into the sea off its east coast.

"If the United States continues, then we have to make the counter-measures also. So we have to develop, and we have to make more deterrence, nuclear deterrence," said Mr So, who is also North Korea's envoy to the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.

"Simultaneous policy is the policy of my country, and my party also, meaning nuclear production and economic development," he said, referring to the twin aims of the policy course of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is expected to be endorsed at a congress of the ruling Workers' Party in May, the first in 36 years.

Read more at ABC News Online



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