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North Korea warns military cleared to wage nuclear attacks

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."