BRUSSELS, April 23 (UPI) -- North Korea is called on to abandon its nuclear weapons program in a complete and verifiable manner, NATO foreign ministers said from Brussels.
Foreign ministers from NATO members met Tuesday in Brussels to address what it said is provocative behavior of North Korea.
The U.S. military said it would redeploy missile defense systems to the U.S. West Coast to deter a North Korean missile threat. North Korea activated missile batteries to counter U.S. and South Korean action in the region.
Tensions escalated on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's underground test of a nuclear device in February.
NATO foreign ministers issued a statement Tuesday condemning North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons program. The North Korean government is called on to disarm in a way that's irreversible and verifiable.
"We confirm our commitment to lasting peace and the goal of the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner," the statement read. "We urge North Korea to refrain from further provocative acts."
White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to defuse the situation in his regular briefing Monday, saying North Korea's rhetoric was part of a long-term pattern.
"Unfortunately, that pattern of behavior is one that flies in the face of North Korea's commitments to the United Nations, its commitment to denuclearization, its commitment not to pursue the kind of missile development that it has pursued," he said.