North Korea’s National Defense Commission issued a statement on Thursday declaring “all-out war” against the United States, vowing to launch a long-range missile directly targeting the American mainland, following a renewal of sanctions on the country by a unanimous vote by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday. North Korea also announced that they are preparing for a third nuclear test.

Announced through the North’s official media agency, the Korean Central News Agency, the commission stated, “We do not hide that a variety of … long-range rockets will be launched by the DPRK one after another and … will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

An additional statement issued by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said that the sanctions were voted upon by “hostile forces including the United States … The present situation clearly proves that the DPRK should counter the U.S. hostile policy with strength, not with words.”

U.S. Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing that North Korea’s statement is “needlessly provocative.” Carney also said that North Korea’s refusal to denuclearize was a key reason why the United States issued the sanctions. “Look, we judge North Korea by its actions, and provocations like these are significant violations. And we act accordingly,” he said.

Glyn Davies, the U.S. envoy on North Korea policy, was in Seoul yesterday and told reporters at a press conference that the U.S. government wants to “reinforce the message that [Barack Obama] and [Hillary Clinton] have said … [that] we, the United States of America, are still open to authentic and credible negotiations.”

As North Korea’s successful December 12 rocket launch into space indicated, it has now made rockets capable of reaching the U.S. The Washington Post spoke with Siegfried Hecker, former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, who said that the North probably has enough plutonium for four to eight bombs, unless the country has more secret facilities that are producing highly enriched uranium.

via The New York Times