"As long United States and its followers persist their nuclear threat and the blackmails against the DPRK [North Korea] and as long as they do not give up the war exercises they stage… right in front of DPRK, the DPRK will continue to bolster the self-reliance defense capability and capability for the preemptive strike with nuclear force," In Ryong said.
"[The launches are a] self-defensive right of a sovereign state" to keep on high alert whenever there are military exercises close to its borders, he added.
In Ryong also said the UN Security Council resolutions on sanctions against North Korea are "devoid of legal ground".
The ambassador noted that North Korea had sent a request to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to organize an international forum of legal experts on sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the UN Security Council, but did not receive an adequate answer.
Earlier on Monday, US Forces Korea said the United States is deploying a permanent squadron of MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to an air base in South Korea amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests.