March 26, 2013
North Korea Threatens Attacks on Guam, Hawaii, US Mainland
North Korea has issued fresh threats against the United States, this time warning it can fire rockets at Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.
The Korean People's Army said Tuesday that "all artillery troops including strategic rocket units and long-range artillery units" have been placed in a "combat ready posture."
It is the latest in a series of threats by Pyongyang against the U.S. and its Asian allies. North Korea's rockets are not believed to have the ability to hit the U.S. mainland.
South Korea's Defense Ministry said Tuesday officials monitoring the situation have not seen any suspicious North Korean military activity.
The North's statement came just hours after South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons and stop making provocations. She said this is the only way for North Korea to survive.
Ms. Park made the comments during a speech to mark the third anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan - an attack that Seoul blames on Pyongyang. The North denies conducting the attack, which left 46 sailors dead.
"North Korea should drop its nuclear weapons, missiles, provocations and threats and become a responsible member of the international community. This is the only way the North can survive."
Seoul promised a tough response Tuesday against any further North Korean provocation. Defense Ministry deputy spokesperson Wee Yong-sub said Seoul would not be afraid to retaliate if attacked.
"If North Korea provokes again as they did in the past, our military will retaliate, a thousand times or even ten thousand times, to console the spirits of 46 heroes of Cheonan who died in defense of our country."
Tensions have been high on the Korean peninsula following the North's nuclear test last month and rocket launch late last year. The United Nations has passed sanctions in response to both actions, angering Pyongyang.
North Korea had also threatened to attack U.S. military bases in Guam and Japan in response to the involvement of U.S. B-52 bombers in recent joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.