The US on Saturday warned North Korea to be ready to face consequences if it failed to act on the nuclear non-proliferation issue but at the same time said Pyangyong has "nothing to fear" from America's new nuclear policy if it breaks from its nuclear weapons programme.
"North Korea should understand that its actions have consequences. North Korea has known for quite some time what the international community and the United States expect of North Korea," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference.
"We want to see the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. There's a clear path for North Korea to move to accomplish that goal. In doing so, North Korea can benefit from improved relations with the United States and the international community," he said.
"Obviously, North Korea's failure to take that step over many years, its reluctance to move on the obligations that North Korea itself agreed to back in 2005, there are consequences and ramifications for North Korea’s failure to act," Crowley warned.
"In our Nuclear Posture Review, we have taken note of our concerns on nonproliferation. And clearly, you have two clear cases that reflect our global concerns – North Korea being one and Iran being the other," he said.
"If North Korea has concerns about what is in the Nuclear Posture Review, they actually control what happens next. If they come back to the Six-Party process, if they take affirmative steps toward denuclearization, then they have no concern, they have nothing to fear from the Nuclear Posture Review that we released this week," he said.
Crowley confirmed that North Korea, Iran and Syria were the three nations that were not invited to the next week's Nuclear Security Summit being hosted by President Barack Obama to secure all loose nuclear material in the next four years and address the issue of nuclear non-proliferation.
"The governments that will be in attendance next week have shown a willingness to work cooperatively within the international community to strengthen the security of nuclear weapons and nuclear know-how," he said.
"The three countries that you just cited – North Korea, Iran, and Syria – have steadfastly either refused or failed to cooperate effectively with the IAEA. So we are strengthening the nonproliferation regime expressly to be able to deal with those countries that pose significant challenges to our long-term security," Crowley added.