Nearly a month after conducting underground nuclear tests, the North Korean government threatened Thursday to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the United States and other perceived aggressors.

This comes as the United Nations Security Council considers new, harsher sanctions against the North following the February 12 nuclear test. The North issued their warning after joint U.S. and South Korean military drills began, which the North is now claiming signals a move by the U.S. to instigate nuclear war.

Meanwhile, the North Korean military has also announced plans to end the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, and act that could signal a resumption of hostilities.

While the U.S., China and other nations are taking the North's threats seriously and monitoring their activities, it is not believed that North Korea has the capability of mounting a nuclear warhead on a device capable of reaching the United States. The North may, however, have enough nuclear fuel to create crude nuclear weapons.

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