North Korea to the US: You can kiss a nuke-free Korean peninsula goodbye

More defiant North Korean nuclear weapons tests will be dependent on US moves in the Korean peninsula, the Hermit Kingdom announced on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho added that Washington ruined the possibility of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, South Korea’s Yonhap reports.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon upped the ante by agreeing to equip South Korea with a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) battery, one of the most advanced missile defence systems in the world.

Pressure to deploy THAAD was spurred after Pyongyang tested its fourth nuclear bomb on January 6 and then launched a long-range rocket on February 7.

Speaking to reporters at the ASEAN meeting in Laos, the North Korean minister claimed that Pyongyang was a “responsible nuclear state and would not use its atomic arms unless threatened,” Reuters reports.

However, the audacious tests have yet to cease.

Last week the Hermit Kingdom fired three ballistic missiles, equipped with a range (between 300 and 360 miles) capable of reaching all of South Korea.

And the latest show of force took form in a ballistic missile test simulating a strike on South Korean ports and airfields, which are heavily operated by US military forces. Currently the US maintains approximately 28,500 troops in South Korea.

Earlier this month, South Korea’s defence ministry said THAAD

will be located in Seongju, in the southeastern part of the country.
In conjunction with the US, Seoul plans to have the unique air-defence system operational by the end of 2017.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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