On Tuesday, North Korea warned the United States, as well as its neighboring allies, that it would utilize all its resources and retaliate physically against the United Nations’ latest series of sanctions, reports The New York Times.

North Korea’s latest announcement strongly suggests that the tiny country might conduct another nuclear or missile test, as it has done before in response to sanctions in the past. Until now, Kim Jong-un’s response to the sanctions had amounted to strong though vague warnings about a physical retaliation that would exceed the harm caused to North Korea “thousands of times over.”

“Packs of wolves are coming in attack to strangle a nation,” North Korea warned in its statement on the state-run Korean Central News Agency. “They should be mindful that the D.P.R.K.’s strategic steps accompanied by physical action will be taken mercilessly with the mobilization of all its national strength.”

Both Washington and Beijing have made efforts to defuse the situation but many are still dubious about how vigorously China and Russia, the D.P.R.K.’s two neighboring allies, will enforce the U.N. sanctions.

“It is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons,” the Japanese government said in a threat assessment released on Tuesday, “and has acquired nuclear warheads.”

South Korea and Japan have been scrambling to finds ways to protect against their neighbor’s aggression, with South Korea, in particular, enhancing its monitoring and striking capabilities in order to neutralize North Korean missiles in pre-emptive attacks.

Read more at The New York Times

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