North Korean army says it has final approval for nuclear attack on the US, the official KCNA news agency says. This comes shortly after the Pentagon said the US military prepares to deploy an advanced missile-defense system to Guam.
"The merciless operation of (our) revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified," AFP cited the statement published by the local news agency.
North Korea's supreme military command has issued a statement saying it formally notifies the White House and the Pentagon that their threats would be "smashed by... cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means".
Pentagon has earlier said the US military prepares to deploy an advanced missile-defense system to Guam to defend American military bases in the Pacific as a "precaution" following North Korea threats.
The DoD has announced that top defense officials approved the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, or THAAD, which includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, a AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system, Reuters reports.
"The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend US territory, our allies, and our national interests," a Pentagon spokeswoman said.
It has been stressed that the future deployment of the system is for protecting American interests in the region and will not reach South Korea’s territory.
The Pentagon said the batteries, which according to advocates will cost up to $800 million per battery, will be deployed in the coming weeks; however, no exact date was given, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Pentagon initially considered the deployment of the first of the batteries in 2015, however, recently escalated tensions and threats from North Korea have influenced the plans, forcing the Defense Department to rethink its intentions.
The United States sees a "real and clear" danger from North Korea, given its nuclear and missile capabilities and bellicose rhetoric, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said earlier Wednesday, shortly before the Pentagon's statement.
North Korea has recently threatened to target US and South Korea following new UN sanctions and joint military drills by the two allies.
Guam has become the most important US military base in Asia, housing its major airfield and an incoming contingent of US Marines.