North Korea threatened to launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack against the United States and South Korea on Thursday morning.
"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," read a statement from the North Korean foreign ministry, that was aired on the state-run KCNA news agency.
The U.S. and South Korea are used to the aggressive posturing by the North. Officials believe North Korea is still years away from developing the ability to launch a missile with a nuclear warhead.
The heightened rhetoric comes as the United Nations prepares to pass a resolution authorizing a new round of sanctions. In the statement, North Korea warned the U.N. against adopting new sanctions, claiming that doing so would be reprise its role as the "U.S.’s war puppet." U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said that the new round of sanctions being considered are some of the toughest ever ordered. The U.S. proposed sanctions are expected to be broadly supported.