×

US may launch strike if North Korea reaches for nuclear trigger

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives instruction during a simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile, at an unidentified location in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on March 15
KCNA | Reuters

The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

North Korea has warned that a "big event" is near, and U.S. officials say signs point to a nuclear test that could come as early as this weekend.

The intelligence officials told NBC News that the U.S. has positioned two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region, one just 300 miles from the North Korean nuclear test site.

Read the full report on NBC News.

More from NBC News:
U.S.-led airstrike kills 18 allied fighters in friendly fire incident: Pentagon
North Korea 'primed and ready' for nuke test: Report
CIA Director Pompeo calls WikiLeaks a 'hostile intelligence service'

Watch: North Korea could conduct 6th nuclear test