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all eyes on north korea

North Korean official accuses U.S. of turning Korean Peninsula into 'world's biggest hotspot'

Kim In Ryong, North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador, called a news conference on Monday to condemn a decision by the United States to hold an open meeting with the Security Council later this month on the North Korean nuclear program, calling it "another abuse of authority."

Kim accused the United States of having "gangster-like logic" and turning the Korean Peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot," creating "a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment." Should the U.S. "dare opt for a military option," he added, North Korea is "ready to react to any mode of war."

Tensions remain high in the region, with North Korea having conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests and two nuclear tests over the last year, despite U.N. sanctions and resolutions banning testings. On Sunday, North Korea tested a missile that failed moments after launch, and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday the U.S. is not "taking options off the table" when it comes to dealing with North Korea's escalating aggression.