Kim Jong-un is speeding up North Korea's nuclear war programme
Development of inter-continental ballistic missiles, capable of striking the United States, it also being prioritised, according to Choe Myong Nam, deputy ambassador at the North Korean mission to the United Nations in Geneva.
Choe said North Korea is “not afraid” of America, despite warnings from Donald Trump’s administrations the hermit state would be dealt with far more strictly than under Barack Obama’s presidency.
They dismissed sanctions against Kim Jong-un's famine-ravaged state as having any real impact on his long-terms goals.
Choe said: “I think this is stemming from the visit by the Secretary of State [Rex Tillerson] to Japan, South Korea and China. We of course are not afraid of any act like that.
Secretive images released as North Korea prepares for war Tue, March 21, 2017
A look at North Korea's firepower as it pursues its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in defiance of the United States and its allies.
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People watch news footage of a missile launch on a giant television screen outside the main railway station in Pyongyang on March 7, 2017
"Even prohibition of the international transactions system, the global financial system, this kind of thing is part of their system that will not frighten us or make any difference."
While dismissing their impact, he called existing sanctions "heinous and inhumane" and demanded an inquiry into the "legality and legitimacy of the sanctions regime".
A South Korean citizen watching a news report about a North Korean missile launch
We have no other choice but to continue with our full acceleration of the nuclear programmes and missile programmes
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Choe Myong Nam
Choe escalation would carry on as long as the US army continued holding joint military exercises with South Korea.
He said: “In the light of such huge military forces involved in the joint military exercises, we have no other choice but to continue with our full acceleration of the nuclear programmes and missile programmes.
“It is because of these hostile activities on the part of the United States and South Korea."
Most chillingly he revealed the country was in the process of creating a nuclear weapon programme with “pre-emptive strike capabilities”.
North Korea say they are "not afraid" of the US
He said: “We strengthen our national defence capability as well as pre-emptive strike capabilities with nuclear forces as a centrepiece.
"I can tell you for sure that the inter-continental ballistic rockets of the DPRK will be launched at any time and at any place as decided by our Supreme Leadership.
Kim Jong-un watching a missile test in North Korea
"The United States has been talking about launching pre-emptive strikes at North Korea," Choe said. "And we have been prepared to deter, to counter-attack such attacks on the part of the United States.
"We would utilise every possible means in our hands and the inter-continental ballistic rocket is one of them."