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North Korea has continued its threatening rhetoric with a new statement on Thursday, claiming that it has the right to launch a nuclear pre-emptive strike against its enemies. The threat comes just hours before the UN Security Council votes today on new sanctions in reaction to Pyongyang’s Feb. 12 test.
According to The Associated Press, a spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said that it can launch “a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors,” since it believes that Washington is moving closer to nuclear war.
“As long as the United States is willing to spark nuclear war our forces will exercise their right to a pre-emptive nuclear strike,” the ministry’s statement read, reports The BBC.
The North also "strongly warns the U.N. Security Council not to make another big blunder like the one in the past when it earned the inveterate grudge of the Korean nation by acting as a war servant for the U.S. in 1950."
These comments come just days after the North said it was ready to end the truce with South Korea that put the 1950-53 Korean War on hold. It threatened to use "surgical strikes" and a "precision nuclear striking tool" because of the South’s military drills with the U.S. North Korea has also demanded that the UN shut down its command in Seoul.
The BBC notes that the new resolution, which is expected to pass, was written by U.S. and China, which is Pyongyang’s strongest ally. Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, called it “some of the toughest sanctions” the organization has imposed on North Korea.