In some of its most threatening words to date, North Korea responded Thursday to proposed increased sanctions by vowing to hit the United States with pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
A March 7 AP release cited an unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry who said "a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors" would occur because Washington is pushing the nation to war.
Despite the condemnation of the U.N. member nations, North Korea has continued to push forward with its nuclear program. North Korea has made broad boasts of nuclear capability, but is thought to not have ability to produce missiles carrying warheads that could reach U.S. shores.
At a rally in Pyongyang today, tens of thousands of North Koreans voiced anger over U.S. and South Korean war drills and sanctions.
Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong whipped up the crowd with threats and warnings. "Intercontinental ballistic missiles and various other missiles, which have already set their striking targets, are now armed with lighter, smaller and diversified nuclear warheads and are placed on a standby status," Kang said. "When we shell Washington, which is the stronghold of evils, it will be engulfed in a sea of fire."
Rhetoric has been issued out of North Korea with increased regularity. The recent threats come as the U.N. Security Council considers a fourth round of sanctions against Pyongyang.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said the proposed resolution would impose some of the strongest sanctions ever ordered by the United Nations.