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North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test Targeting U.S.

North Korea says it plans rocket and nuclear tests directly targeting the United States.

"In the new phase of our century-long struggle against the United States, we do not hide the fact that various satellites, long-range missiles that we will continue to launch and high-level nuclear test we will conduct will target our sworn enemy, the United States," said a statement Thursday from the North's National Defense Commission.

The statement was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, and was reported by several media organizations, including Yonhap, the South Korean news service.

Here's The Associated Press with background on the story:

"The declaration follows the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of North Korea on Tuesday and expanded sanctions against the regime for launching a rocket in December. North Korea said the launch was a peaceful satellite mission, but the U.S. and others say it was actually a test of long-range missile technology."

Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, warned Pyongyang against conducting a nuclear test.

"Whether North Korea tests or not, it's up to North Korea. We hope they don't do it, we call on them not to do it. It will be a mistake and a missed opportunity if they were to do it," he said to reporters in Seoul.

The comments were reported by Yonhap.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.