North Korea criticized the U.S. at the U.N. General Assembly Monday for its “hostile” policy towards Pyongyang that has left the Korean peninsula a “spark” away from a “thermonuclear war.”

In his address to the UNGA session in New York, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon showered praise on Kim Jong-un, the young leader of the reclusive Asian nation.

"Today, due to the continued U.S. hostile policy towards DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), the vicious cycle of confrontation and aggravation of tensions is an ongoing phenomenon on the Korean peninsula, which has become the world's most dangerous hot spot where a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war," Pak said.

“From the first day the DPRK was founded, the U.S. designated the DPRK as her enemy and refused to recognize its sovereignty. Since then, it has pursued all sorts of sanctions, pressures and military provocations against the DPRK for more than half a century,” the minister said alleging that the U.S. intended to “occupy the whole of Korean peninsula to use it as a stepping-stone for realizing its strategy of dominating the whole of Asia.”

Pyongyang is under the U.N. Security Council sanctions over its two failed attempts to test a nuclear weapon (in 2006 and 2009). In a statement released June 10, Pyongyang dismissed the widespread speculation that North Korea was nearing completion of the preparations to test a nuclear device for the third time.

“No precedent can be found in modem history like the one in which the DPRK and the U.S. remain as warring parties for over 60 years even after the war,” Pak said.

He said North Korea had the right to build nuclear arsenal to defend the “nation’s dignity and sovereignty.”

“The only way to prevent war and ensure lasting peace on the Korean peninsula is to put an end to the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK,” he said.

He alleged that the U.S., in an attempt to “eliminate” North Korea, had “already finalized different Korean War scenarios and it is waiting for a chance to implement them.”

Throughout the speech, Pak focused on the state of affairs between Washington and Pyongyang, which has remained tumultuous for more than 60 years after the Korean War ended with an armistice.

He began his address, the first since the death of North Korea’s longtime ruler Kim Jong-il, offering condolence over the supreme leader’s death in December.

He said, “Having held dear respected Marshal Kim Jong-un as the supreme leader of the Party, State and Army, our people are striving to build a prosperous and powerful socialist state.”

He called on the U.N. to give the General Assembly “the authority to undertake final review of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions related to peace and security such as sanctions and use of force.”