A furious North Korea threatened Thursday to attack America with nuclear weapons as punishment for perceived Western aggression - saber-rattling that came as the United Nations readied more sanctions against the Kim Jong-un’s rogue regime.
An unnamed spokesman in Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry office said North Korea will launch “a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors,” The Associated Press reports.
The spokesman referred to Washington as being the aggressor in a nuclear attack on North Korea, AP states.
The U.N. Security Council comprised of six world powers — the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia — is set to vote as soon as Thursday on a new round of sanctions against North Korea, following the hereditary communist dictatorship’s third nuclear test last month.
The sanctions are the fruit of a turnaround by China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the council, and North Korea’s major trading partner and principal ally.
According to a draft of the sanctions resolution reported by Bloomberg News, the measures target “illicit activity,” including bulk cash transfers, by North Korean diplomats; banks and companies believed to be funneling money or supplies to Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs; and the import of luxury goods like yachts, racing cars and jewelry for the regime’s elite.
Chinese patience with its neighbor to the north east appears to have worn thin after repeated provocations by Pyongyang, culminating in the launch last year of a multi-stage rocket and the underground test Feb. 12 of a nuclear weapon.
Although North Korea claimed the launch was designed to put a satellite into orbit, the two events together, say analysts, indicate that Pyongyang is making progress toward its goal of a nuclear tipped missile that could reach parts of the United States.
Still, North Korea’s threat may be meaningless. Military experts believe the country does not yet have the capability to launch a nuclear warhead on a missile that can reach American soil, AP says. The country does, however, possess enough nuclear fuel to develop and use crude nuclear weaponry, AP says.