The commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command says North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and missiles even though it has stopped testing them.
According to Radio Free Asia, Admiral Phil Davidson spoke at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Thursday and called North Korea the "most immediate threat." He said there is no doubt the regime is continuing to develop nuclear weapons and long range ballistic missiles.
Regarding the short-range missile launch Pyongyang carried out in May, Davidson said he sees it not as a provocation but a test.
He said his role is to support diplomatic negotiations for North Korea's denuclearization and achieve defense readiness on the Korean Peninsula.
The commander also noted that the U.S. runs two major exercises a year on the peninsula, in February and August, and that his order is to execute that exercise next month.
On Tuesday, North Korea warned that a South Korea-U.S. military drill known as the 19-2 Dong Maeng exercise, slated for next month, will affect its working-level nuclear talks with Washington if it's carried out as planned.