North Korea Threatens US With ‘Nuclear Annihilation’ In Missile Strike Planned For Today

North Korea is threatening the United States with nuclear annihilation in a missile strike planned for “today,” AOL News is reporting.

A report from a South Korean news outlet says that North Korean is moving missiles throughout the country, and there’s a “high possibility” that the reclusive Asian nation will deploy the missiles today.

“They’re setting up for something.”

The move appears to have come in response to statements by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who last week said that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un needs to be “separated from his weapons,” as CNN reported at the time. In response, a North Korean foreign ministry promised a “merciless blow” should the West try to intervene in North Korea’s nuclear program.

“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 U.S. with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time.”

The timeline of North Korea’s supposed nuclear assault on the U.S. remains unclear, however. Although the South Korean news agency indicated a “high possibility” of a nuclear launch on “Thursday,” it’s unclear if that was intended to mean U.S. time or North Korea time. At the time of this writing, Thursday has already ended in North Korea, and it’s the wee hours of Friday morning there.

The extent of North Korea’s actual nuclear capabilities, however, does not seem to match up with its bluster. On July 4, for example, the North launched an intercontinental ballistic missile theoretically capable of reaching Alaska. However, experts agree that that particular missile was incapable of carrying a nuclear payload.

What’s more, military analysts believe that the North won’t be able to develop missiles carrying nuclear payloads until 2018.

Meanwhile, authorities in Hawaii, also in the theoretical range of North Korean missiles, are treating the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea as a real danger. As the New York Times reported this week, officials are telling Hawaiians what to do in the event of a North Korean nuclear strike: namely, find a concrete shelter and be prepared to stay there for at least 14 days.

As of this writing, there are no designated blast or nuclear fallout shelters in Hawaii.

[Featured Image by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]