Tensions continue to rise between the United States and North Korea as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday warned of “severe consequences” if North Korea continues to develop its nuclear weapons and missiles. “There will be severe consequences as we go forward if North Korea does not refrain from its irresponsible provocations that aggravate regional concerns, make the region less safe, and if it refuses to live up to its international obligations,” Kerry told reporters.

He added that economic sanctions may not be enough to persuade the regime. “It may take more than sanctions with respect to North Korea because of its almost total absence of a legitimate economy,” he said. The remarks come after North Korea threatened earlier this week to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. and hinted at an intercontinental ballistic missile test, both ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Workers Party on Oct. 10. “Our position is clear: we will not accept… North Korea… as a nuclear weapons state, just as we said that about Iran,” Kerry added. FULL REPORT