(Newsroom America) -- A "hostile" U.S. policy towards North Korea has left the peninsula a spark away from nuclear war, a Pyongyang official said Monday.
In an address to the final session of the UN General Assembly's annual high-level meeting, Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil Yon said the Koreas have become “the world’s most dangerous hotspot” and vowed to use the North's "mighty" military as a deterrent against any "reckless provocations."
"The only way to prevent war and ensure lasting peace on the Korean peninsula is to put an end to the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK," Pak said, using his country's initials, which stand for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
U.S. officials had no comment on the speech, The Associated Press reported.
Much of Pak's speech focused on the continued formal state of war that exists between North and South Korea, the latter one of the United States' most important allies in the region. The U.S. maintains about 28,000 troops in South Korea.
North Korea invaded the South in 1950; both sides signed a cease-fire agreement in 1953 but no formal peace treaty was established.
Pak told the assembly that from the day North Korea was founded it has been the United States' intention "to destroy the ideas and system chosen by our people and to occupy the whole of the Korean peninsula and to use it as a stepping-stone for realizing its strategy of dominating the whole of Asia."
"Today, due to the continued U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK, the vicious cycle of confrontation and aggravation of tension is an ongoing phenomenon on the Korean peninsula, which has become the world’s most dangerous hotspot where a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war," he said.
China, Russia, Japan, the U.S. and South Korea have been trying to negotiate a disarmament deal since 2003 that would end its nuclear program. But the North moved ahead and conducted an underground nuclear test in in 2006, which led to UN sanctions.
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