North Korea says pre-emptive strike against U.S. likely

North Korea has threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States, specifically aimed at Washington D.C. (AP Graphic)

A spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry says the North Korea will exercise its right for "a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors" because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.

The U.N. Security Council votes Thursday on a resolution by the U.S. and China to up sanctions against the North following its nuclear test last month.

Despite its threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S., North Korea is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the U.S.

The vote is scheduled to take place at 9 AM Central Time.