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Quotes from North Korean official about tensions with US

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Some quotes from the AP interview with North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol in Pyongyang on Friday:

"Whatever comes from the U.S., we will cope with it. We are fully prepared to handle it."

"If the U.S. comes with reckless military maneuvers, then we will confront it with the DPRK's pre-emptive strike. We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike." The country's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"It is not the DPRK but the U.S. and (President Donald) Trump that makes problems. I say this because Trump tweeted that the DPRK, North Korea, is looking for trouble and it's none other than the U.S. that is posing threats toward the DPRK with the largest scale ever military exercises (with South Korea) and the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson which was bound for Australia is now coming back to the Korean Peninsula."

"Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words."

"We will go to war if they choose."

"As long as the nuclear threats and blackmail go on with the military exercises (with South Korea) we will carry forward with our national defense buildup, the core of which is the nuclear arms buildup."

"As for the nuclear test, that is something that our headquarters decides. At a time and at a place where the headquarters deems necessary, it will take place."

"Now we are comparing Trump's policy toward the DPRK with the former administration's, and we have concluded that it's becoming more vicious and more aggressive."

"Whatever comes from U.S. politicians, if their words are designed to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them."

AP

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