According to a new CNN report, the North Korean regime has stated that before engaging in diplomacy with the United States, it wants to have the capability of launching a nuclear weapon that could reach the American homeland.
In a statement from the North Korean official, the country said it wanted to convey it has a “reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States.” That entailed firing a long-range missile over the Pacific Ocean and testing a nuclear bomb above ground, CNN international correspondent Will Ripley reported on Monday.
“Now is simply not the time — from the North Korean perspective — for diplomacy with the United States,” the official told Ripley.
According to one of Ripley’s sources, a North Korean official already indicated that the regime would test a missile capable of reaching the East Coast of the United States. The regime even went so far as to show a Russian lawmaker mathematic calculations for one of their long-range missile launches.
As Ripley noted, North Korea’s would be the first above-ground nuclear test since China’s in 1980.
North Korea’s message comes amid rising tensions between the United States and North Korea, which, according to CNN, saw a recent joint naval drill between the U.S. and South Korea as preparation for an invasion. The U.S. claimed that the drill was solely for defensive purposes.
Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, indicated on Sunday that the State Department would be open to working with the North Koreans but wasn’t going to “beg them to come to the negotiating table.”
Watch Ripley’s reporting below, via CNN.