US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the international community must remain united in urging North Korea to return to nuclear talks and in continuing to apply pressure on its nuclear and missile programs.
The string of weapons drills come as a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States drags on, and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the pandemic.
The US trails far behind other countries that prioritise humanity over politics.
North Korea launched multiple projectiles into the sea earlier this month as part of firing drills, according to South Korea's military, drawing US and Chinese appeals for Pyongyang to return to talks on ending its nuclear and missile programmes.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement it detected the three launches made from an eastern coastal town in the North’s South Hamgyong province.
Given "Iran's failure to enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, the FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures," the body said, referring to the UN's 2001 convention against organised crime.
The warning comes after independent UN experts said in August that North Korea generated an estimated $2 billion for its weapons of mass destruction programmes using cyberattacks to steal from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that US President Donald Trump’s recent letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was a good sign that underscores his commitment to negotiations, as well.
Kim also said North Korea was no longer obligated to maintain a self-imposed suspension on the testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, which President Donald Trump has touted as a major diplomatic accomplishment.
US was swift to respond, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to "take a different course" and stressing that the US wanted "peace not confrontation" with the North.
The New Year address is expected to touch upon a wide range of issues, from foreign affairs and military development to the economy and education.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has convened a key meeting of top ruling party officials, ahead of a year-end deadline for Washington to shift its stance on stalled nuclear talks.
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