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North Korea says it is ready for 'any war' with U.S.

By Andrew V. Pestano
North Korea says it is ready for 'any war' with U.S.
A photograph released on Sunday by the North Korean Central News Agency shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) watching the test of a high-thrust rocket engine on Saturday at the Sohae satellite launching facility in North Pyongan Province. On Monday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry responded to comments by U.S. officials -- stating North Korea is ready for "any war" with the United States, citing its nuclear capabilities. Photo by KCNA/EPA

March 21 (UPI) -- In response to comments by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warning of military action, North Korea cited its nuclear capabilities and said it is prepared to engage the United States in "any war."

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the world would "soon witness" the "great victory" by North Korea in its testing of intercontinental ballistic missile components. North Korea previously said it has developed missiles capable of reaching U.S. shores, though the U.S. military has dismissed that assertion.

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Last week during a trip to Asia, Tillerson described past U.S. engagement with North Korea as a "failure" -- suggesting a "different approach" is needed on North Korea. He also said the United States would not pursue former President Barack Obama's principle of "strategic patience" in the face of nuclear threats by North Korea. Tillerson said he did not rule out military action against North Korea if a threat warranted such a response.

Tillerson's comments come after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted accusations that China is not doing enough to assist in stopping North Korea.

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"North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been 'playing' the United States for years. China has done little to help!" Trump wrote.

North Korea, formally called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, responded forcefully to the comments by Tillerson, the former Exxon-Mobil CEO, and Trump. North Korea argues it develops nuclear weapons in response to U.S. aggression.

"The U.S. should face up to the situation of the world with its eyes wide open. The DPRK has the will and capability to fully respond to any war the U.S. would like to ignite," a North Korea spokesman said on Monday, according to the state-owned Korean Central News Agency. "If the businessmen-turned U.S. authorities thought that they would frighten the DPRK, they would soon know that their method would not work on the latter. The world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won by the DPRK in the recent ground jet test of Korean-style, high-thrust engine will carry."

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On Saturday, China urged the United States to use a "cool-headed" approach to tensions with North Korea after Tillerson said military action is an option "on the table."

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