North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

Communist North Korea has threatened to fire a nuclear-tipped missile unless the U.S. takes action to resolve its standoff with Pyongyang, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The unnamed North Korean official who issued the threat said the intent is to bring Washington to the negotiating table.

“We hope the situation will be resolved before an unfortunate incident of us firing a nuclear missile comes,” the official said yesterday. “That depends on how the U.S. will act.”

The South Korean agency previously reported the North Korean official said that Pyongyang was willing to return to the negotiating table and quit its nuclear program if the U.S. takes “corresponding measures.”

“The nuclear test is an expression of our intention to face the United States across the negotiating table,” official said. “What we want is security of the (North), including guaranteeing our system.”

The official told Yonhop any move by the U.N. Security Council to sanction North Korea is futile.

“We have lost enough. Sanctions can never be a solution,” the official said. “We still have a willingness to give up nuclear weapons and return to six-party talks as well. It’s possible whenever the U.S. takes corresponding measures.”

While the official did not specify the measures, North Korean has been demanding Washington lift financial restrictions for Pyongyang’s alleged counterfeiting and money laundering.

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