U.S. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that he would not tolerate fresh signs of North Korean nuclear aggression.
In an annual New Year's Day speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned that preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) were at the final stage. He added that he would continue enhancing his nation's capability for "pre-emptive strikes" unless the U.S. ended annual naval exercises with South Korea, or what Pyongyang calls "war games."
Widely perceived as a renewed threat on Washington, Kim's remarks prompted an angry tweet from Trump.
"North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!"
Kim didn't provide any specifics on timing of an ICBM launch, but the rogue nation is known to commemorate national celebrations through displays of military prowess and Kim's birthday on Jan. 8 may be an ideal platform. On Jan. 6 last year, Pyongyang claimed it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.