Addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Park Kil-yon blamed the current South Korean administration for ruining the atmosphere of reconciliation, thereby weakening the relationship between the two Koreas.
Then he went on to lash out at the United States for its hostile policy toward the North, which he claimed has left the Korean Peninsula "a spark away from a nuclear war."
The United States government, meanwhile, reiterated its position toward North Korea,.. that the North must demonstrate that it is serious about denuclearization.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said during a press briefing Tuesday that she hadn't yet heard Park's UN comments, but emphasized the need for North Korea to assure the international community that it is taking serious steps to do away with its nuclear weapons.
She also added that the U.S. is keeping a close eye on the new North Korean regime under the leadership of Kim Jong-un and the choices he makes in the future but also warned against any further provocation.
The North Korean vice foreign minister was addressing the U.N. for the first time since the death of the regime's long time leader Kim Jong-il last December.
Analysts say that his speech could be indicative of the path Kim Jong-un plans to take regarding foreign policy.
North Korea carried out nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, putting itself under U.N. Security Council sanctions.
Lee Ji-yoon, Arirang News.