North Korea is lashing out with extreme threats following comments made by CIA Director Mike Pompeo that called for added pressure on Kim Jong Un in response to the rogue regime’s nuclear ambitions. "As for the regime, I am hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system," said the CIA director. "The North Korean people I'm sure are lovely people and would love to see him go."
Not surprisingly, the trigger-happy kingdom viewed Pompeo’s comments as a direct threat.
"The DPRK legally stipulates that if the supreme dignity of the DPRK is 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,” reported state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), citing a spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry’s office. "Should the U.S. 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.”
As alarming as it may sound, this sort of hyperbolic rhetoric from North Korea is quite common. For example, in March 2016, the regime claimed that it may wipe out Manhattan with a hydrogen bomb, an impossible feat given North Korea’s technological limitations.
Nonetheless, the United States is taking North Korea's successful intercontinental ballistic missiles test quite seriously.
"North Korea's recent test of an intercontinental range ballistic missile — which was not a surprise to the intelligence community — is one of the milestones that we have expected would help refine our timeline and judgments on the threats that Kim Jong Un poses to the continental United States," said National Intelligence Manager for East Asia, ODNI, Scott Bray in an interview with CNN.