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U.S. urges N.K. to refrain from provocative rhetoric after Pyongyang's nuclear threats

All Headlines 02:03 March 05, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Yonhap) -- The United States urged North Korea on Friday to refrain from "provocative actions and rhetoric" after Pyongyang's young leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered the military to get ready to use nuclear weapons at a "moment's notice."

Kim issued the order while attending the North's test-firing Thursday of a new multiple launch rocket system, stressing that the current situation has become "very precarious," according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"We have seen the statements. We are closely monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula in coordination with our regional allies," State Department spokesman Ory Abramowicz said. "We urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric that aggravate tensions and instead focus on fulfilling its international obligations and commitments."

The North's nuclear strike threats and the test-firing of the new multiple launch rocket system came after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted the harshest-ever sanctions on Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile tests.

They are believed to be a message to the outside world that the communist nation remains unfazed by the new sanctions and will forge ahead with its nuclear and missile programs.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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