(Reuters) - North Korea threatened the United States on Thursday with a preemptive nuclear strike, raising the level of rhetoric while the U.N. Security Council considers new sanctions against the reclusive country.

North Korea has accused the United States of using military drills in South Korea as a launch pad for a nuclear war and has scrapped the armistice with Washington that ended hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War.

North Korea, which has one major ally, neighboring China, threatens the United States and its “puppet”, South Korea, on an almost daily basis.

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