U.S. will not accept North Korea as a ‘nuclear state,’ Kerry says

Updated 5:33 AM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013

Story highlights

NEW: North Korea blocks South Korean workers from jointly run industrial complex

The U.S. is ''fully prepared" to defend itself, Kerry says

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "deeply troubled" about North Korea's statements

The North says it is adapting and restarting facilities at its main nuclear complex

Are you from South or North Korea? Concerned about the latest crisis? Send us your thoughts.

(CNN) —  

John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, warned Tuesday that the United States will not accept North Korea as a “nuclear state.”

North Korea’s decision comes as tensions on the Korean peninsula escalate over Kim Jong Un’s threats to wage war against the United States and South Korea.

“The bottom line is simply that what Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative. It is dangerous, reckless,” Kerry said during a joint briefing in Washington with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

“And I reiterate again the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan,” Kerry added. “We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that.”

North Korea’s declaration that it would reopen the reactor demonstrates Kim’s commitment to the country’s nuclear weapons program that the international community has tried to persuade it to abandon.