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North Korea threatened to conduct a nuclear weapons test "targeted" at the U.S. after the Obama administration pushed through new United Nations sanctions against the totalitarian state for last month's rocket launch.
"In a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle, we do not hide that the various satellite and long-range rockets that we will continue to launch, and the high-level nuclear test that we will conduct, are targeted at the U.S., the sworn enemy of our people," North Korea's National Defense Commission said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
The UN Security Council imposed additional restrictions on North Korea on Jan. 22, prompting a vow from Kim Jong Un's regime to boost its nuclear capability. South Korean officials have warned that the North is prepared to conduct a nuclear weapons test "soon" following a December rocket launch that boosted its ballistic capabilities.
Minutes before the announcement, Glyn Davies, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea who is visiting Seoul, called on the regime not to detonate an atomic device. He said President Barack Obama's administration is willing to hold "credible negotiations."
South Korea's military thinks a nuclear test from the North is possible "at any time," Defense Ministry spokesman Wi Yong Seob said today. The U.S. has "repeatedly called for North Korea to abide by its international obligations and to refrain from provocative acts," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in an e-mail.