NORTH KOREA is preparing for “any mode of war” triggered by US military action, Pyongyang’s envoy to the United Nations warned, saying his country would respond to a missile or nuclear strike “in kind.” The statement from North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, followed warnings from US Vice President Mike Pence to Pyongyang not to test US resolve. “If the United States dares opt for a military action (…) the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans,” Kim told a news conference at UN headquarters in New York. “We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs,” he said. North Korea has taken “self-defensive” measures in response to US threats of military action and these reflect Pyongyang’s determination to “counter nukes and ICBM in kind,” Kim said, referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles. Pence earlier told a news conference in South Korea that “the era of strategic patience is over” after North Korea on Sunday test-fired another missile and fears mounted that it may be preparing a sixth nuclear test. Pyongyang is seeking to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the US mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them last year. Kim also confirmed that a new nuclear test was under preparation, saying that the plans had been announced and that “it will take place.” “As far as nuclear test is concerned, it was already announced to the public. It is something that our headquarters decided. At a time and at the place where our headquarters deem necessary, it will take place,” he said.