GENEVA -- The U.N. chief says he fears North Korea is on a collision course with other nations that could lead to war.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the isolated Asian nation appears to be "on a collision course with the international community" amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said Tuesday in Andorra "the current crisis has already gone too far" because of escalating tensions raised by North Korea's threats of war almost daily against the United States and South Korea.
He said international negotiations are urgently needed but he is "convinced that no one intends to attack" North Korea.
Pyongyang has sought disarmament-for-aid talks with Washington and more domestic loyalty by portraying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a powerful commander.
Also on HuffPost:
"It is deplorable that Pyongyang defied the strong and unequivocal call from the international community to refrain from any further provocative measures." — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. <em>United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gestures during his speech, at a plenary session of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone/Laurent Gillieron)</em>
"North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region." — U.S. President Barack Obama. <em>U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a presentation ceremony for the Medal of Honor for Clinton Romesha (L), a former active duty Army Staff Sergeant, at the White House February 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)</em>
"This nuclear test by North Korea is totally unacceptable, as it constitutes a grave threat to Japan's security, represents a grave challenge to the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime centered on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and seriously undermines the peace and security of Northeast Asia ..." — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. <em>In this Jan. 28, 2013 file photo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his policy speech during an opening session at the lower house of parliament in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)</em>
China's Foreign Ministry
"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, heedless of widespread international opposition, has again carried out a nuclear test, to which the Chinese government expresses its firm opposition." — China's Foreign Ministry. <em>Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)</em>
"North Korea's nuclear test despite strong warnings from us and the international community is nothing more than an act of isolating itself." — South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye. <em>South Korea's president-elected Park Geun-hye speaks during a press conference at the headquarters of Saenuri Party in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)</em>
"North Korea's development of its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities poses a threat to international and regional security. Its repeated provocations only serve to increase regional tension, and hinder the prospects for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula." — British Foreign Secretary William Hague. <em>British secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs William Hague addresses the media together with Australian foreign affairs minister Bob Carr, Australian defence minister Stephen Smith and British defence secretary Philip Hammond during the annual Australia-United Kingdom Ministerial meetings on January 18, 2013 in Perth, Australia. (Paul Kane/Getty Images)</em>
Russia's Foreign Ministry
"We are anxious that Pyongyang's recent step will not be used as a pretext to boost (its) military presence around the Korean peninsula." — Russia's Foreign Ministry. <em>Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to a question during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)</em>
India's Foreign Ministry
"`We call upon the DPRK to refrain from such actions which adversely impact on peace and stability in region." — Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Syed Akbaruddin. <em>Indian Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid (L) and Indian Minister of Telecommunication Kapil Sibal listen to a speech by Chairperson of The National League for Democracy of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, during her Nehru Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on November 14, 2012. (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
"It constitutes a clear threat to international peace and security and challenges efforts to strengthen global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I am gravely concerned by this action, which deserves universal condemnation." — Tibor Tóth, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. <em>Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, CTBTO, Tibor Toth, left, and Lassina Zerbo, Director of the International Data Center Division at the CTBTO, attend a media briefing on the nuclear test by the North Korea, in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)</em>
"This irresponsible act, along with the December missile launch, poses a grave threat to international peace, security and stability." — North Atlantic Council, NATO's governing body. <em>NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at a media conference during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.(AP Photo/Yves Logghe) </em>
"The international community should respond to this latest provocation with a clear stance." — German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. <em>German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle addresses the media during a joint press conference with his counterpart from India Salman Kurshid, unseen, after a meeting at the Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)</em>
"The IAEA remains ready to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue by resuming its nuclear verification activities in the country as soon as the political agreement is reached among countries concerned." — International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano. <em>In this Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 file photo, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano of Japan addresses the media during a news conference after a meeting of the IAEA board of governors at the International Center, in Vienna, Austria. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)</em>
"North Korea's future security and prosperity can only be secured through constructive relations with its neighbors and the international community." — Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. <em>Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard talks to the media at Hilton Hotel on February 9, 2013 in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images)</em>