North Korea's deputy UN Ambassador is warning that "nuclear war may break out at any moment."
Kim In Ryong issued the warning Monday because he says North Korea continues to be subjected to an extreme and direct nuclear threat from the United States and has the right to self-defense.
Ryong referred to what he called an American plan to stage a "secret operation aimed at removal of our supreme leadership."
Ryong says North Korea has become a "full-fledged nuclear power" with an atomic bomb, H-bomb and intercontinental ballistic rockets.
"The entire US mainland is within our firing range and if the US dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch, it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe," Ryong said.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration is pursuing diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict with the rogue regime and "will continue until the first bomb drops."
"Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the US is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table under any circumstances," Ryong said.