Monday 11 December 2017

North Korea claims it has nuclear missiles that can hit US mainland

Jack Kim

NORTH KOREA claims today it has rockets that can hit the US mainland, two days after South Korea struck a deal with the United States to extend the range of its ballistic missiles.

North and South Korea have been technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, and regional powers have for years been trying to rein in the North's nuclear weapons programme.

North Korea is believed to be developing a long-range missile with a range of 6,700km (4,160) miles) or more aimed at hitting the United States, but two recent rocket tests both failed.

Its neighbours fear the North is using rocket launches to perfect technology to build a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.

North Korea's National Defence Commission said in a statement that the North was prepared to counter any US military threats, its KCNA news agency said.

"We do not hide (the fact) that the revolutionary armed forces ... including the strategic rocket forces are keeping within the scope of strike not only the bases of the puppet forces and the US imperialist aggression forces' bases in the inviolable land of Korea, but also Japan, Guam and the US mainland," KCNA said.

South Korea on Sunday unveiled an agreement with the United States that extends the range of its ballistic missiles by more than twice its current limit to 800km (497 miles) as a deterrent against the North.

North Korea is under heavy UN sanctions that have cut off its previously lucrative arms trade and further isolated the state after its failed 2009 missile test drew sharp rebukes, even from its one major ally, China.

The United States has denied it has any intention to strike North Korea. It has more than 20,000 troops stationed in the South in defence of its ally against the North.

In April, under its new leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea again launched a rocket that flew just a few minutes covering a little over 100km (60 miles) before blowing up over the sea between South Korea and China.


Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News