A spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry slammed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent talk of tougher sanctions, more pressure, and possible military action, and said the North would not be deterred in its nuclear program.
'The US should face up to the situation of the world with its eyes wide open. The DPRK has the will and capability to fully respond to any war the US would like to ignite,' Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) cited an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.
'If the businessmen-turned US authorities thought that they would frighten (North Korea), they would soon know that their method would not work,' he said, making an indirect reference to President Donald Trump and his wealthy cabinet picks.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is considering sweeping sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea off from the global financial system and seizing Kim Jong-un's assets outside the country, a senior US official said on Monday.
The sanctions would be part of a multi-pronged approach of increased economic and diplomatic pressure - especially on Chinese banks and firms that do the most business with North Korea - plus beefed-up defenses by the United States and its South Korean and Japanese allies, according to the administration official familiar with the deliberations.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry told KCNA that North Korea would defend its people, even if that means going to war.
'The nuclear force of (North Korea) is the treasured sword of justice and the most reliable war deterrence to defend the socialist motherland and the life of its people,' the spokesman said.
Trump met McMaster on Saturday to discuss North Korea and said afterward that the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, was 'acting very, very badly.'
The president spoke hours after North Korea boasted of a successful rocket-engine test, which officials and experts think is part of a program aimed at building an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States.