Pakistan News Service

Sunday Dec 21, 2014, Safar 28, 1436 Hijri
Logo Logo
LATEST :
Pakistan News Home -> Top -> News Details

'Combat-ready' North Korea threatens US mainland, Hawaii

27 March, 2013

SEOUL: North Korea's military put its 'strategic' rocket units on a war footing on Tuesday, with a fresh threat to strike targets on the US mainland, Hawaii and Guam, as well as South Korea.

The move came as South Korea marked the third anniversary of the sinking of its naval vessel "Cheonan" by what Seoul insists was a North Korean submarine.

"All artillery troops including strategic rocket units and long-range artillery units are to be placed under class-A combat readiness," the Korean People's Army (KPA) supreme command said in a statement. The units should be prepared to attack "all US military bases in the Asia-Pacific region, including the US mainland, Hawaii and Guam" and South Korea, said the statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

Despite a successful long-range rocket launch in December, most experts believe North Korea is years from developing a genuine inter-continental ballistic missile that could strike the mainland United States. Hawaii and Guam would also be outside the range of its medium-range missiles, which would be capable, however, of striking US bases in South Korea and Japan.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has spent the past few weeks touring frontline military units, monitoring live fire artillery drills and making inflammatory speeches about wiping out the enemy. Sabre-rattling and displays of brinkmanship are nothing new in the region, but there are concerns that the current situation is so volatile that one accidental step could escalate into serious conflict.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. So far there has been no particular North Korean troop movement," a South Korean defence ministry spokesman said.

Addressing a ceremony for the 46 sailors who died in the 2010 "Cheonan" incident, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye warned Pyongyang that its only "path to survival" lay in abandoning its nuclear and missile programmes.

The North has always denied sinking the Cheonan, but a few months later it launched an artillery attack on a South Korean border island, killing four people.

North Korea's patron and sole major ally China was quick to urge calm from all sides Tuesday. "We hope that relevant parties will exercise restraint so as to ease the tension," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

Military tensions on the Korean peninsula have been at an elevated level for months, following December's rocket launch and the North's third nuclear test which it carried out last month. Both events triggered UN sanctions that infuriated the North, which has spent the past month issuing increasingly threatening statements about unleashing an "all-out war" backed by nuclear weapons.

It was particularly incensed that nuclear-capable US B-52 bombers flying out of Andersen Air base on Guam took part in recent joint South Korea-US military exercises.

Meanwhile, the United States takes North Korea's latest threats to strike targets on the US mainland, Hawaii and Guam "very seriously," Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Tuesday.

"We are concerned by any threat raised by the North Koreans. We take everything they say and everything they do very seriously. They need to stop threatening peace that doesn't help anyone," Little told reporters.

End.

 What do you think about the story ? Leave your comments!

Heading (Optional)
Your Comments: *

Your Name:*
E-mail (Optional):
City (Optional):
Country (Optional):
 
 
Field marked(*) are mandatory.
Note. The PakTribune will publish as many comments as possible but cannot guarantee publication of all. PakTribune keeps its rights reserved to edit the comments for reasons of clarity, brevity and morality. The external links like http:// https:// etc... are not allowed for the time being to be posted inside comments to discourage spammers.

  Speak Out View All
Imran - Qadri long march
Artilce 6 and Musharraf Trail
  Quick Vote Show Results
Question: "In view of the current situation do you think Talks with Taliban should take place only within the ambit of Article 4 of Objectives Resolution that defines our Common Purpose i.e. PM/ President down to all Pakistanis to work till we achieve the rights of Democracy, Freedom, Tolerance and Social Justice for all Pakistanis:"
Yes
No
 
Candid Corner
Exclusive by
Lt. Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
LHC tells Sharif family to pay Rs 3.5bn mark-up on loan
Osama's killer comes forward to reveal his name
Suggested Sites