North Korean military officials on Friday renewed warnings of ICBM and nuclear attacks on the United States should the North come under attack, the New York Times reported.
Strategic rocket force commander Gen. Kim Rak Gyom was quoted as saying, "If the U.S. imperialists and their followers dare make a pre-emptive attack, they will be made to keenly realize what a real nuclear war and real retaliatory blows are like."
Added air and anti-air force chief Ri Pyong Chol: "Stalwart pilots, once given a sortie order, will load nuclear bombs, instead of fuel for return, and storm enemy strongholds to blow them up."
Pyongyang has issued a series of similar threats since being sanctioned again by the U.N. Security Council for the North's Feb. 12 nuclear test.
North Korea could carry out another strategic missile test or nuclear detonation to prod the United States and South Korea back to diplomatic engagement, one-time South Korean national security adviser Chun Young-woo told Reuters.
Meanwhile, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey and his Japanese counterpart agreed on Friday that their respective militaries would work closely together to address any potential new missile trial launches and atomic detonations by Pyongyang, the Associated Press reported.