CNN news 2017-01-17

We're taking you to the Korean Peninsula today. That's where North Korea, a U.S. rival, says America is wholly to blame for North Korea's nuclear program. The country has been at odds with the U.S. and South Korea since fighting stopped in the Korean War in 1953.

Nowadays, the North's nuclear program is illegal, as far as the United Nations is concerned. But repeated sanctions, international penalties and restrictions on North Korea's economy and trade have not kept North Korea from developing nuclear technology.

And while some defense experts don't think North Korea has the ability to actually hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, the North says it's conducted four successful nuclear tests since 2009. It wants to have long range nuclear weapons and it wants the world to know it has them.

PAULA HANCOCKS, cnn INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: North Korea could launch an intercontinental ballistic missile at anytime from any location. That is the message from North Korean's foreign ministry official. This came out on Sunday, quoted by KCNA, the state-run media.

And they say that the only thing that they're waiting for is the green light from Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader.

Now, also, we hear in the statements that the reason that North Korea has found it necessary to carry out and develop this nuclear and missile program is because of Washington. — the U.S. hostile policy, as North Korea calls it. And this, of course, is something that they have been saying for years, if not decades, blaming Washington for what they say is their need for self-defense.

Now, also on Sunday, we did hear from U.S. defense secretary, saying on NBC's "Meet the Press", that this program from North Korea is a serious threat. Also saying that the U.S. military is prepared to shoot down any missile, which appears to be heading towards U.S. territory, or appears to be heading from the North to any territory of its allies.

But one interesting thing from this statement that we have been hearing from experts is that it does appear as though North Korea is hoping for a different relationship with President-elect Donald Trump when his administration comes into power.

Now, they did say, using the DPRK, the official terms for North Korea, quote, "Anyone who wants to deal with the DPRK would be well advised to secure to a new way of thinking, after having a clear understanding of it."