White House: North Korea’s ‘Bellicose Rhetoric’ Just ‘Deepens That Nation’s Isolation’

North Korean army officers punch the air as they chant slogans during a rally at Kim Il Sung Square in downtown Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, March 29, 2013. Tens of thousands of North Koreans turned out for the mass rally at the main square in Pyongyang in support of their leader Kim Jong Un’s call to arms. (AP)

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (TheBlaze/AP) — The White House says North Korean threats to train rocket fire on the U.S. only deepen the country’s isolation from the world.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned Friday that his rocket forces were ready, quote, “to settle accounts with the U.S.” The threat came after nuclear-capable American B-2 bombers dropped dummy munitions during routine joint military drills with South Korea.

In response, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. has both the capability and willingness to defend its interests in the region.

He called on North Korea to put its people first by ending its “bellicose rhetoric,” abandoning its nuclear program and living up to its international obligations.

“The bellicose rhetoric emanating from North Korea only deepens that nation’s isolation,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Barack Obama flew to Florida for an event. “The United States remains committed to safeguarding our allies in the region and our interests that are located there as well.”