North Korea threatened Wednesday to wipe the United States off the map as Washington and its allies watched for signs that the administration will launch a series of missiles.
A U.S. destroyer was following a North Korean ship off China’s coast, suspected of transporting illegal weapons to Myanmar. The new U.N. Security Council ruling requires member states to seek permission to inspect suspicious cargo. North Korea has said it would consider interception by the U.S. a declaration of war.
"If the U.S. imperialists start another war, the army and people of Korea will ... wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all," the official Korean Central News Agency said.
Tensions have been high since North Korea launched a rocket in April and then conducted its second underground atomic test on May 25. Reacting to U.N. criticism of that test, North Korea walked away from nuclear disarmament talks and warned it would fire a long-range missile.
Political efforts are in progress to try to get North Korea to return to disarmament talks.