Kim Jong-un’s North Korean regime again threatened the United States with a nuclear strike on Tuesday, this time stating that they would use their nuclear arsenal in response to any attempt to remove Kim from power.

In a statement issued through KCNA, North Korea’s state-owned media outlet, the nation claimed it would strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear ICBM – something experts are not currently certain they have the capability to do.

The DPRK legally stipulates that if the supreme dignity of the DPRK is threatened, it must preemptively annihilate those countries and entities that are directly or indirectly involved in it, by mobilizing all kinds of strike means including the nuclear ones,” their foreign ministry spokesman said.

“Should the US dare to show even the slightest sign of attempt to remove our supreme leadership, we will strike a merciless blow at the heart of the US with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time.”

This statement comes days after CIA Director Mike Pompeo seemed to indicate a potential shift in U.S. strategy, wherein instead of simply pursuing a denuclearized Korean peninsula, he appeared to indicate that the Trump administration may be leaning toward removing the dictator from power.

It would be a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula, to get those weapons off of that, but the thing that is most dangerous about it is the character who holds the control over them today,” Pompeo said to a crowd at the Aspen Security Forum last week. “So from the administration’s perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two. Right? Separate capacity and someone who might well have intent and break those two apart.”

“As for the regime, I am hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system,” Pompeo said. “The North Korean people I’m sure are lovely people and would love to see him go.”

At the beginning of this month, North Korea conducted a test launch of their most advanced ballistic missile to date.  Although the huge missile traveled only 578 miles in total before splashing down in the sea between North Korea and Japan, its 37-minute flight time indicates that it is capable of covering distances in excess of 4,000 miles.  While that range isn’t sufficient to strike America’s “heartland,” it is more than enough to reach Alaska.