As regional tensions continue to rise since North Korea's nuclear test on 9 September, Kim Jong Un's government has warned the United States that they are "fully ready to mercilessly strike" them with nuclear warheads.

In a statement released on 13 September, North Korea warned that if the Obama government continues to pursue sanctions and other actions to "stifle" them, they would invite a "merciless nuclear strike which will lead them to a final ruin". They noted that any provocation would immediately result in orders to the Hwasong artillery units of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army to fire rockets tipped with nuclear warheads.

"The people of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) are now burning with hatred for the sworn enemies," a spokesperson for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee in Pyongyang said. "The DPRK is fully ready to mercilessly strike brutal provocateurs keen on sanctions... and wipe them out to the last man any moment."

The nuclear test carried out by North Korea last week is believed to be the largest one so far and has prompted the international community to consider its response. The UN Security Council has condemned the test, while US, France and Britain are pushing for new sanctions to be imposed on the country.

However, the North Korean government has remained defiant in the face of international pressure and has vowed to continue increasing their nuclear force in quality and quantity. Following the nuclear test, Pyongyang said that their nuclear capabilities were particularly important in order to "ensure genuine peace from the US", who they blame for increasing the threat of a nuclear war.

The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said: "The US and its followers are making much fuss, creating [the] impression that a nuclear bomb was dropped in downtown Washington or Seoul. Neither sanctions nor provocation nor pressure can ever bring down the position of the DPRK as a full-fledged nuclear weapons state."