North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador send out an alarming signal on Monday saying that the situation on the Korean peninsula "has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment."
Kim In Ryong told the U.N. General Assembly's disarmament committee that North Korea is the only country in the world that has been subjected to "such an extreme and direct nuclear threat" from the United States since the 1970s _ and said the country has the right to possess nuclear weapons in self-defense.
He pointed to large-scale military exercises every year using "nuclear assets" and said what is more dangerous is what he called a U.S. plan to stage a "secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership."
This year, Kim said, North Korea completed its "state nuclear force and thus became the full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges, including the atomic bomb, H-bomb and intercontinental ballistic rockets."
"The entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range and if the U.S. dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe," he warned.
Kim's speech follows escalating threats between North Korea and the United States, and increasingly tough U.N. sanctions.