North Korea threatened a nuclear strike on “the heart of the US” if it attempts to remove Kim Jong Un as Supreme Leader, Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Tuesday. The threat was in response to comments from CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who said last week that the Trump administration needed to find a way to separate Kim from his growing nuclear stockpile.
On Saturday at the Aspen Security Forum, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said at some point military plans would be presented to President Trump on how to deal with North Korea.
KCNA reported that a spokesman from the North Korean Foreign Ministry said, “The DPRK legally stipulates that if the supreme dignity of the DPRK is threatened, it must preemptively annihilate those countries and entities that are directly or indirectly involved in it, by mobilizing all kinds of strike means including the nuclear ones.”
A spokesperson for Defense Intelligence Agency declined to comment directly on a report from The Washington Post that the agency’s latest assessment concludes Pyongyang will have a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile as early as next year but admitted that Pyongyang’s missile capabilities are progressing.
North Korea also appears to be preparing for another missile test, according to a US Defense official who said that transporter vehicles carrying ballistic missile launching equipment were seen arriving in Kusong, North Korea last week. A launch could occur to coincide with the upcoming July 27 North Korean Holiday celebrating the armistice which ended the Korean War.