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Thursday 28 August 2014

North Korea threatens to launch strike on US as long-range rocket arsenal 'combat ready'

Jack Kim and Ju-min Park

Published 26/03/2013 | 08:42

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Soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) take part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (not pictured) watches, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area on March 25, 2013, in this picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang March 26, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)

ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. QUALITY FROM SOURCE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS
Soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) take part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (not pictured) watches, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (2nd L) talks with soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) taking part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area on March 25, 2013, in this picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang March 26, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) 

ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. QUALITY FROM SOURCE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (2nd L) talks with soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) taking part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area.
Soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) take part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (not pictured) watches, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area on March 25, 2013, in this picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang March 26, 2013.   REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) 

ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS
Soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) take part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (not pictured) watches, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area.

North Korea said its strategic rocket and long-range artillery units have been ordered to be combat ready, targetting U.S. military bases on Guam, Hawaii and mainland America after U.S. bombers flew sorties threatening the North.

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The order, issued in a statement from the North's military "supreme command", marks the latest fiery rhetoric from Pyongyang since the start of joint military drills by U.S. and South Korean forces early this month.

 

South Korea's defence ministry said it saw no sign of imminent military action by North Korea.

 

"From this moment, the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army will be putting into combat duty posture No. 1 all field artillery units, including long-range artillery units and strategic rocket units, that will target all enemy objects in U.S. invasionary bases on its mainland, Hawaii and Guam," the North's KCNA news agency said.

 

The North previously threatened nuclear attack on the United States and South Korea, although it is not believed to have the capability to hit the continental United States with an atomic weapon. But the U.S. military's bases in the Pacific area are in range of its medium-range missiles.

 

South Korea's defence ministry said it had detected no signs of unusual activity by the North's military but will monitor the situation. The South and the U.S. military are conducting drills until the end of April, which they have stressed are strictly defensive in nature.

 

The North has previously threatened to strike back at the U.S. military accusing Washington of war preparations by using B-52 bombers which have flown over the Korean peninsula as part of the drills.

 

North Korea has said it has abrogated an armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War and threatened a nuclear attack on the United States.

Reuters

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