US ‘Foolish’ For Calling UN Security Meeting, Says North Korea

Kelly Craft at UN: North Korea missile launches 'risk closing the door' on diplomatic progress

North Korea conducts 'crucial test' - state media

Tension has been rising in recent weeks as Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons tests and waged a war of words with US President Donald Trump, stoking fears the two countries could return to a collision course that they had been on before launching diplomacy previous year.

China's United Nations ambassador, Zhang Jun, said on Wednesday it was imperative the Security Council ease sanctions on North Korea in a bid to support talks between Pyongyang and Washington and "head off a dramatic reversal" of the situation.

On Saturday, North Korea conducted what it called an "very important test" at its west coast satellite launching site better known as the Dongchang-ri site, spawning speculation that it could be preparing to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile. It is also an ideal way to get North Koreans to solve their own problems by themselves'.

"However, as we already declared, we have nothing to lose more and we are ready to take a countermeasure corresponding to anything that the USA opts for", the Foreign Ministry representative said.

Hinting at further sanctions, Craft said: "If events prove otherwise, we, this Security Council, must all be prepared to act accordingly".

Washington on Wednesday used the meeting to warn of consequences for North Korea if it followed through with its promise of an ominous "Christmas gift" in the event that the USA does not come up with concessions by the end of the year.

But the United States, which is president of the Security Council for December, chose to convene the meeting on Wednesday to focus instead on the threat of escalation by North Korea.

A U.S. defense official has said his country is putting the appropriate defenses in place with South Korea to meet the threat of provocation by North Korea.

'We are prepared to be flexible in how we approach this matter'.

Trump has hailed his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after his breakthrough summit previous year in Singapore and two subsequent meetings.

North Korea said earlier on Thursday the United States had nothing to offer it in possible renewed talks aimed at getting Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs, a day after Washington said it was ready to take "concrete steps" toward securing a deal.

The two countries met in Stockholm in October to start working-level talks, though North Korea denounced the meeting, accusing the United States of not offering anything.

Russia's United Nations ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, faulted USA diplomacy, saying: 'You can't reach an agreement if you don't propose anything in exchange'.

Any US conflict with North Korea could rapidly escalate into an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula and drag in other powers, especially China. North Korea classifies the F-35A a "strategic asset" for the South.

South Korea - whose dovish president, Moon Jae-in, paved the way for Trump's outreach to Pyongyang - urged its neighbour to abide by Security Council resolutions.

North Korea also defended its right to missile and weapons tests, while calling the United States "bandit-like" in the statement. 'You can stop this situation from worsening'.

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