In this Sunday, March 31, 2013 photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo Monday, April 1, 2013 by the Korea News Service, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives a speech during a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea. After weeks of war-like rhetoric, North Korean leader Kim gathered legislators Monday for an annual spring parliamentary session taking place one day after top party officials adopted a statement declaring building nuclear weapons and the economy the nation's top priorities. (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS) JAPAN OUT UNTIL 14 DAYS AFTER THE DAY OF TRANSMISSION
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The North Korean army is warning Washington that its military has been cleared to wage an attack using "smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear" weapons.
The threat from the unnamed army spokesman early Thursday is latest in a series of escalating warnings from North Korea, which has railed for weeks against joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises taking place in South Korea and has expressed anger over tightened sanctions for a February nuclear test.
The spokesman said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency that troops have been authorized to counter U.S. aggression with "powerful practical military counteractions."