SEOUL, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- North Korea said Thursday its nuclear weapons program has "passed the final gateway" and that a target of a preemptive nuclear strike is to be determined "by choice."
Pyongyang's warning to its rivals on Thursday comes days after the U.S. Air Force flew two B-1 supersonic bombers over South Korea and President Park Geun-hye called for the removal of the Kim Jong Un regime in the event of a nuclear attack.
State-controlled news agency KCNA issued the statement in an article that ran under the title "The opportunity is our choice to make, don't even dream in vain."
"Our measures to strengthen nuclear armament in successive steps have come about because of the unprecedented political, economic pressures and military threats from the United States and its servile followers. In order to protect our country's sovereignty, dignity and ensure the survival of our people we have selected the righteous and inevitable choice," the North Korean statement read.
The KCNA article also stated the reason Pyongyang conducted its most recent nuclear test was because the regime could no longer tolerate U.S. and South Korea talks of a "collapse" or "leadership removal."
"At this point, our republic has grasped all that is necessary to pass the final gateway to becoming a nuclear power state," the statement read. "We are ready at any moment to strike and completely destroy the atrocious provokers who are engaging in anti-[North Korea] sanctions and squeezing, and plotting invasions and war maneuvers."
North Korea has promoted the "success" of its fifth nuclear test and celebrations are taking place in the country, according to Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.
The city of Nampo held a celebration on Thursday a day after similar celebrations took place in Pyongyang.