North Korea vows to launch 'pre-emptive nuclear strike' against US as United Nations votes for new sanctions over missile tests

Just last month a North Korean official threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during a debate at the UN Conference on Disarmament

North Korea has vowed to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States in a outburst of furious rhetoric as the United Nations cleared the way for new sanctions against Pyongyang.

An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said the North will exercise its right to "pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the headquarters of the aggressors" because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.

The inflammatory language has been a regular occurrence in recent days and months with the North Korean regime expressing its fury over sanctions and upcoming military drills involving South Korea and the US.

Although North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs and pre-emptive strikes, it is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the US.  It is believed to have enough nuclear fuel, however, for a handful of crude nuclear devices.

Analysis of new satellite images released today appears to show an extensive network of prison camps that take up whole villages in North Korea.

According to reports the secretive regime has built a huge 'security perimeter' around an existing camp, human rights watchdog Amnesty said today.

Amnesty claims analysis of new satellite images of the area near Camp No. 14 in Kaechon shows that the government is 'blurring the lines' between its camps and surrounding civilians.

The UN's most powerful body today voted on a resolution drafted by North Korea's closest ally, China, and the United States.

The new resolution 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 programmes.

At a mass rally in Pyongyang today, tens of thousands of North Koreans protested at the US-South Korean war drills and sanctions.

Just last month a North Korean official threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during a debate at the UN Conference on Disarmament.

He said: “As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behaviour would only herald its final destruction,” Jon Yong Ryong, North Korean diplomat, told the meeting.

Without specifically referring the North’s recent nuclear test, Mr Jon said North Korea had recently taken a “resolute step for self-defence”.

His comments drew criticism from other nations, including South Korea and Britain.

In today's statement that was carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the regime accused the US of leading efforts to implement new sanctions against North Korea.

The statement said the new sanctions would only advance the timing for North Korea to fulfill previous vows of taking "powerful second and third countermeasures" against its enemies.

Those measures haven't been specifically elaborated on. 

"We gravely warn that at a time when we cannot avoid a second Korean War, the UN Security Council, which served as the US puppet in 1950 and made Korean people harbor eternal grudges against it, must not commit the same crime again," it said. 

North Korea in the statement demanded the UN Security Council immediately dismantle the American-led UN Command that's based in Seoul and move to end the state of war that exists on the Korean Peninsula, which continues six decades after fighting stopped because an armistice, not a peace treaty, ended the war.

The US said in response to North Korea's comments that it would take necessary steps to defend itself and its allies after the nuclear strike threat.

The top envoy for North Korea policy is Glyn Davies who is calling on the North not to miscalculate and says the US is working with South Korea to ensure it's ready for any threats that arise.

He was testifying to a Senate foreign relations panel today, shortly after the sanctions vote.

The panel's chairman, Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey, says the, "absurd" threat of a nuclear strike on the US would be tantamount to suicide.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Games Developer - HTML5

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Product Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to on-going expansion, this leading provid...

Recruitment Genius: Shift Leaders - Front of House Staff - Full Time and Part Time

£6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a family ...

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works