North Korea yesterday threatened the US with a preemptive nuclear strike, as it raised the level of rhetoric while the UN Security Council considered new sanctions against the country.
Accusing the US of using military drills in South Korea as a launch pad for a nuclear war, North Korea has scrapped the armistice with Washington that ended hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War.
North Korea, which counts one major ally, neighbouring China, has been threatening the US and its "puppet", South Korea, on an-almost daily basis.
"Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to preemptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest," the North's foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
North Korea conducted a third nuclear test on 12 February, in defiance of UN resolutions, declaring it had achieved progressed in developing a functioning atomic arsenal. It is widely believed that North Korea lacked the capacity to deliver a nuclear strike on the mainland US.
According to North Korea's unnamed foreign ministry spokesman, it would be entitled to take military action as of 11 March when the US-South Korea military drills moved into a full-scale phase as it had declared the truce invalid.