U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said North Korea may be seeking attention with its recent missile launches.
Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Blinken said the tests are "profoundly destabilizing."
He renewed calls for dialogue, while reiterating Washington harbored no "hostile intent" toward the North.
The comments by the top U.S. diplomat came after the Joe Biden administration slapped sanctions on five North Koreans and other entities linked to the communist state's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.
North Korea's foreign ministry, in turn, accused the U.S. of "intentionally escalating" the situation and warned it will have to take "stronger and certain reaction" in response to such moves.
The regime claimed earlier this week that it successfully fired a hypersonic missile on Tuesday, less than a week after it launched a similar weapon.
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