White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Friday that the American administration would not be surprised if North Korea followed through on its recent threats to launch a missile.
"We've obviously seen the reports that North Korea may be making preparations to launch a missile. We're monitoring this situation closely, and we would not be surprised to see them take such an action," Carney was quoted by Politico as having said during a press briefing.
"We have seen them launch missiles in the past and the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly condemned them as violations of the North’s obligations under numerous Security Council resolutions, and it would fit their current pattern of bellicose, unhelpful and unconstructive rhetoric and actions," he added.
Carney reiterated the United States' call for North Korean leaders to choose peace.
"We urge them to stop with the provocations and to focus instead on meeting their international obligations and feeding their own people," he said. "They are only making themselves more and more isolated from the rest of the world."
The North Korean army said Thursday it had final approval to launch "merciless" military strikes on the United States, involving the possible use of "cutting-edge" nuclear weapons.
In a statement published by the official KCNA news agency, the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) said it was formally informing Washington that reckless U.S. threats would be "smashed by... cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means".
On Friday, it was reported that North Korea has moved more intermediate range missiles to its east coast, pointing them toward the United States. North Korea's leaders have also threatened neighboring South Korea.
In another sign that it may be planning some military action, North Korea on Friday warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang that it was unable to guarantee their safety after April 10, adding that they should consider evacuating their missions amid soaring nuclear tensions.
European countries with embassies in Pyongyang, such as Britain and Russia, reported receiving a warning advisory.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon described the daily threats from Pyongyang as "really alarming and troubling", warning the situation could spiral out of control, and Germany summoned the North Korean ambassador to convey Berlin's "serious concern."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)