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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Senior Application Support -Fidessa, Charles River, Oracle, FIX

£50000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Application Support - Fide...

Product Specialist - (Application Support, UNIX, SQL)

£45000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Product Specialist - (Application...

Technical Specialist - (Application Support, UNIX, SQL)

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Technical Specialist - (Applicati...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home