10 things you need to know today: March 7, 2013

North Korea threatens to nuke the U.S., Obama courts GOP support for a budget, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

President Obama speaks during a visit to Newport News Shipbuilding on Feb. 26.
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


With the United Nations poised to impose tough new sanctions, North Korea pushed its hostile rhetoric into dangerous new territory on Thursday by threatening for the first time to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S. and South Korea. The United Nations Security Council is meeting to consider the sanctions — a response to Pyongyang's nuclear test last month — on Thursday to block banks, companies, and North Korean diplomats from bringing in cash or materials that might support the isolated communist regime's missile and nuclear weapons programs. North Korea says the sanctions amount to "an act of war," and has been ratcheting up its threats for days, calling the 60-year-old cease-fire that ended the Korean War null and void, and saying it would nuke Washington and Seoul into "a sea in flames." [New York Times]

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.