A senior North Korean military officer has threatened to launch nuclear arms at the White House and Defense Department, Agence France-Presse reports.
Hwang Pyong So, head of the military's General Political Bureau, in an address commemorating the 61st anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice said recent U.S.-South Korea armed forces maneuvers were dangerously stoking tensions with Pyongyang.
"If the U.S. imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival ... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang said.
The North Korean military on Saturday conducted another short-range missile test, this one personally directed by ruler Kim Jong Un.
Meanwhile, a onetime head of the CIA testified before Congress last week that the North is on track to acquire the capability to carry out an electromagnetic pulse strike on the United States, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
An EMP strike would involve the denotation of a nuclear warhead in the atmosphere with the intention of frying the electrical grids of countries below.
"There is now an increasing likelihood that rogue nations such as North Korea ... will soon match Russia and China in that they will have the primary ingredients for an EMP attack," ex-CIA Director James Woolsey said in a statement to a Housed Armed Services subcommittee.
He said the U.S. government should move quickly to strengthen the electrical grid to survive an electromagnetic pulse.
However, the South Korean defense ministry on Monday said it was unlikely that Pyongyang at the present time has the ability to carry out an EMP attack, Yonhap separately reported.
"It is yet to be confirmed if the North has secured the technology related to the EMP," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said to journalists. "But it is our analysis that it has yet to have success in making EMP bombs."
"We see that North Korea has yet to reach a technological level high enough to develop the bombs, as building [the bombs] requires advanced skills," the spokesman continued.