May 31 (UPI) -- China issued a warning following the recent U.S. test of an interceptor missile over the Pacific Ocean, while North Korea claimed it is ready to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Beijing's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press briefing Wednesday the United States should conduct itself "prudently" following the announcement from the U.S. missile defense agency.
"China has a clear and consistent stance on missile defense," Hua said. "We hope concerned countries would act prudently on missile defense, in a way that will not have a negative effect on global safety and regional stability."
The Pentagon said Tuesday the interceptor was successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, then "destroyed the target in a direct collision" over the Pacific.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said North Korea is "obviously one of the reasons why we have this capability."
Reports of U.S. testing are being used in North Korea state media to justify the regime's missile development.
Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated Wednesday the state's "highest leadership," Kim Jong Un, can order the launch of an ICBM at any time and place in response to what it claims are U.S. threats.
"No one can block our path to strengthening our national nuclear power," the article stated. "As U.S. attempts to pre-empt strikes come to the fore, and the lunacy of nuclear warfare grows, it is within perfect reason to strengthen our military defense."
The article stated North Korea's "nuclear deterrent" has been able to break through the "atrocious" challenges and trials posed by "U.S. imperialists."
"The United States must truly know our nuclear weapons can reduce the homeland of evil into ashes, and that these are not empty words," the Rodong article stated.