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North Korea vows ‘preemptive’ nuclear strike against US

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File photo shows a North Korean soldier saluting in front of the Unha-3 rocket at Sohae Satellite Station.

North Korea has vowed to launch a ‘preemptive’ nuclear strike against the US to defend itself in the event that Washington ignites a nuclear war.

“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,” said a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman in a statement on Thursday.

The statement was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The spokesman also warned that a second Korean war would be “unavoidable,” if Washington and Seoul refuse Pyongyang’s calls to cancel their large-scale joint military drills scheduled to kick off next week.

On March 1, South Korea and the US will start their annual military exercises, dubbed Key Resolve, which will continue until the end of April. It will involve 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 US forces.

Pyongyang’s statement comes ahead of a vote by the United Nations Security Council on whether to impose a fourth round of sanctions against North Korea over the nuclear test it carried out on February 12.

North Korea’s third underground nuclear test drew immediate condemnation from the UN and several countries including the US, South Korea, Russia and Japan.

Pyongyang also carried out two nuclear tests on October 9, 2006 and May 25, 2009.

The UNSC is set to vote on the resolution proposed by the US and China at 1500 GMT later in the day.

The country is already under tough UN sanctions over its rocket launch in 2012.


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