SEOUL, South Korea (March 7, 2013)--North Korea is threatening a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States in response to a vote Thursday by U.N. diplomats on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.
An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said the North will exercise its right for "preemptive nuclear strikes on the headquarters of the aggressors" because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.
Such inflammatory rhetoric is common from North Korea, but it has been coming regularly in recent days. North Korea is angry over the possible sanctions and over upcoming U.S.-South Korean military drills.
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday for tough new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test.
The vote Thursday by the U.N.'s most powerful body on a resolution drafted by North Korea's closest ally, China, and the United States sends a powerful message to North Korea that the international community condemns its ballistic missile and nuclear tests and its repeated violation of Security Council resolutions.
The new sanctions are aimed at making it more difficult for North Korea to finance and obtain material for its weapons programs.