U.S. says North Korea is responsible for its economic issues

North Korea is in a negative place economically as a direct result of what its government chose to spend its money on, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Tuesday during her daily press briefing. When asked about recent comments made by North Korean leaders that the U.S. is militaristically attempting to squeeze the country to death, Harf said North Korea should take a look in the mirror.

"The economic situation the North Korean people are in right now is a direct result of what their government has chosen to spend its money on - unneeded and unnecessary weapons and military systems that they don't need that would be much better spent on food for their people," Harf said. "So if they want to talk about the deplorable conditions in their country, they need to take a look in the mirror, quite frankly."

Harf reiterated U.S. goals of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and stability in the region. She said the U.S. would continue to work with its partners in the region to advance goals that are good for everyone involved.

"We're focused on working with our partners in the region to help get North Korea to a place where it will fulfill its commitments to denuclearize," Harf said. "We need to focus on what's really important here when it comes to the North Korea - the horrible economic situation it has put its people under."