North Korea’s foreign ministry on Thursday criticized the United States as “foolish” for convening a UN Security Council meeting over growing concern about short-range rockets fired from the isolated state.
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 US does not come up with concessions by the end of the year.
“By arranging the meeting, the US did a foolish thing which will boomerang on it, and decisively helped us make a definite decision on what way to choose,” North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
Trump has met three times with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear program, but frustrated North Korea is seeking a comprehensive deal that includes sanctions relief.
“The US talks about dialogue, whenever it opens its mouth, but it is too natural that the US has nothing to present before us though dialogue may open,” it added.
North Korea said it has “nothing to lose more and we are ready to take a countermeasure corresponding to anything that the US opts for.”
At the UN Security Council, US ambassador Kelly Craft voiced concern that North Korea was indicating it would test intercontinental ballistic missiles “which are designed to attack the continental United States with nuclear weapons.”
But she said the United States, which used its presidency of the Security Council to convene the meeting, wanted to work towards a deal.
She appeared, however, to rule out meeting North Korea’s demands for an offer in the final weeks of 2019: “Let me be clear: The United States and the Security Council have a goal -- not a deadline.”