North Korea will pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programme in defiance of the United States and its allies, a top Pyongyang envoy said on Friday.

So Se Pyong, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, added that a state of "semi-war" now existed on the divided Korean peninsula.

So denounced the huge joint US-South Korean military exercises taking place which he said were aimed at "decapitation of the supreme leadership of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)" and conquering Pyongyang.

North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test in January and launched a long-range rocket in February. The South Korean military said on Friday that North Korea had fired a missile into the sea off its east coast.

"If the United States continues, then we have to make the counter-measures also. So we have to develop, and we have to make more deterrence, nuclear deterrence," So, who is also North Korea's envoy to the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, said in an interview with Reuters.

"They (Seoul) are making too many manipulations, too many false reports," he said.

US President Barack Obama joined South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday in vowing to ramp up pressure on North Korea in response to its nuclear and missile tests.

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The three leaders recommitted their countries to each others' defence and warned they could take further steps to counter threats from Pyongyang.

"Actually that summit, we call it ... a kind of propaganda," So said, dismissing the talks on securing vulnerable atomic materials to prevent nuclear terrorism.

"WE ARE GOING ON OUR OWN WAY"

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday also called for dialogue to resolve the "predicament" on the Korean peninsula during a meeting with Park in Washington, Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

Asked whether his reclusive country felt pressure from its ally China and other powers, So replied: "Whether they are going to do anything, we don't care. We are going on our own way.

"(We are) not having dialogue and discussions on that."

The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution in early March expanding UN sanctions aimed at starving North Korea of funds for its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

"We are going against that resolution also because that is not fair and (not just). At this point, because this is really the war now ... We are busy to deal with this semi-war status of the situation on the peninsula now."

Regarding the joint military exercises being conducted by US and South Korean forces, he said that 300,000 troops were taking part: "Now they open (show) their true colour, meaning the decapitation of the supreme leadership of DPRK."

Asked about prospects for resuming stalled six-party talks on his country's nuclear programme, So replied that denuclearisation of the peninsula was no longer on the table.

"If the United States stops their hostile policy towards the DPRK and comes to the peace treaty, then something (might be) different," he said.

Source: Stuff