U.S. warns North Korea to stop isolationist actions

The White House responded to recent threats by North Korea by saying the country should stop its bellicose rhetoric, which serves to isolate the nation from the rest of the world.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un threatened the U.S. on Friday with claims his rocket forces were ready to settle accounts with the U.S. The threat occurred after nuclear-capable American B-2 bombers conducted routine joint military drills with South Korea, CBS News reports.

Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said the U.S. had the ability and willingness to defend its interests in the region. He called on North Korea to put its people first by abandoning its nuclear program and living up to international obligations.

U.S. officials are classifying the threats as a serious provocation phase by Pyongyang. Officials are concerned North Korea will fire on South Korea, which could bring the U.S. into a cross-border conflict.

Pyongyang has made a series of threats in state media, with one threat vowing to use a nuclear weapon on the U.S. Experts believe North Korea is years away from developing nuclear-tipped missiles that could hit the U.S.

The threats may be part of a ploy by North Korea to coerce South Korea into softer policies and get both direct talks and aid from the U.S. The threats could also strengthen Kim's credentials and image in North Korea, CBS News reports.