North Korea has threatened a nuclear strike on "the heart of the US" if it attempts to remove Kim Jong-un as Supreme Leader, Pyongyang's state-run news agency reported.
The report in Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Tuesday quoted a spokesman from the North Korean Foreign Ministry as saying that the law stipulates that if the supreme dignity of the nation was threatened, "it must preemptively annihilate those countries and entities that are directly or indirectly involved in it, by mobilizing all kinds of strike means including the nuclear ones."
"Should the US dare to show even the slightest sign of attempt to remove our supreme leadership, we will strike a merciless blow at the heart of the US with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time," the Foreign Ministry spokesman added.
The threat was in response to comments from CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who said the Donald Trump administration needed to find a way to separate Kim from his growing nuclear stockpile, CNN reported on Tuesday.
"As for the regime, I am hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system," Pompeo said last week.
"The North Korean people I'm sure are lovely people and would love to see him go."
North Korea's threat comes amid an ongoing assessment from the US intelligence community that Pyongyang has accelerated its intercontinental range ballistic missile program, CNN reported.