Pyongyang, March 7: North Korea will exercise the right to pre-emptive nuclear strikes to defend itself, if the US ignites a nuclear war, the official KCNA news agency reported Thursday, citing a foreign ministry spokesman.
"Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to pre-emptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest," the spokesman said in a statement, reported Xinhua.
Moreover, if the UN Security Council adopts a resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea, the country will move up the previously announced corresponding countermeasures in response, he said.
March 11 marks the start of the annual joint South Korea-US military exercises, which will involve 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 US troops. The drill, dubbed Key Resolve, was denounced by the KCNA as a prelude to an invasion.
The UN Security Council is expected to vote later this week on a resolution designed to punish North Korea for its third nuclear test since October 2006.