By By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press – 17 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House Thursday said North Korea's plan to conduct a third nuclear test is "needlessly provocative" and will only increase Pyongyang's isolation.
Spokesman Jay Carney's comments were in response to the North's National Defense Commission, which also made clear Thursday that its long-range rockets are designed to carry warheads aimed at striking the United States. The North has previously said its launches are for a peaceful space program.
Pyongyang's statement came two days after the U.N. Security Council condemned its December launch of a satellite atop a long-range rocket for violating a ban on ballistic missile activity. The council, with the support of the North's only major ally, China, also tightened sanctions.
"North Korea's statement is needlessly provocative and a test would be a significant violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions," Carney told reporters. "Further provocation would only increase Pyongyang's isolation, and its continued focus on its nuclear and missile program is doing nothing to help the North Korean people."