North Korea warns Congress against tightening sanctions in rare letter

North Korea on Friday warned members of the U.S. House of Representatives that tougher sanctions would bolster Pyongyang's efforts to develop nuclear weapons, according to Friday reports.

"As the U.S. House of Representatives enacts more and more of these reckless hostile laws, the DPRK's efforts to strengthen nuclear deterrents will gather greater pace, beyond anyone's imagination," the Foreign Affairs Committee of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly wrote in a letter published by the state-run KCNA news agency.

The rare letter came a little more than a week after the House tightened sanctions against North Korea aimed at deterring the country's advancing weapons programs.

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Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have risen in recent weeks. Last month the U.S. sent a naval strike group near the Korean Peninsula, hoping to deter North Korea from conducting another missile or nuclear test.

The maneuver was condemned by North Korea as an act of aggression, and Pyongyang has since threatened strikes against the U.S. and its allies in in the region if provoked. Since then, the North has conducted two failed missile launches.

The Trump administration, however, has not backed down from its tough talk against North Korea. Vice President Pence, during a visit to South Korea last month, said that "the era of strategic patience is over," regarding Pyongyang's weapons programs.