North Korea threatened to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S. on Sunday marking the 61st anniversary of the armistice that halted the Korean War.
Hwang Pyong-so, chief of the North Korean military's politburo, was speaking at a meeting of representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Strategic Force at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang.
If the U.S. threatens the North's "sovereignty and survival with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and means of nuclear strike," the North will "fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon, the sources of evil," as well as at U.S. "military bases across the Pacific and large U.S. cities," the official Rodong Sinmun quoted him on Monday as saying.
The North is not believed to have the means to make nuclear warheads for missiles.
Meanwhile, the North pointedly snubbed China, its traditional ally and another signatory to the armistice. At previous annual events marking the anniversary, the North habitually hailed its "blood ties" to China while thanking it for joining the Korean War.
Last year, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao visited the North and leader Kim Jong-un paid respects at a cemetery for Chinese soldiers in the North.
But this year, neither senior officials nor the media mentioned China at all. Kim visited only a cemetery for North Korean soldiers this year.
The North is clearly peeved at China, not least over an oil embargo that has gone on for most of this year and forced some army officers to cycle to work.