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N.Korea Threatens US Bases in Guam, Japan

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North Korea has warned it could strike U.S. military bases in Guam and Japan in response to the use of U.S. bombers in joint military drills with South Korea.

A North Korean army command spokesperson said Thursday that an air force base in Guam and naval bases at Japan's main island and Okinawa are all within range of Pyongyang's "precision strike means."

The U.S. has run two training missions over South Korea in the past month with the B-52 Stratofortress, in a show of force that has drawn an angry response from the North. A day earlier, Pyongyang threatened "strong military counteraction" if the flights continue.

North Korea also has warned of a "preemptive nuclear strike" on the U.S. mainland, but is not believed to have the capability to do this. Many U.S. allies in the region, though, are concerned they could be easier targets for Pyongyang.



The latest threats, carried in Thursday's official Korean Central News Agency and announced on state television, were more specific than usual.



"The U.S. should not forget that Anderson Air Force Base on Guam, where the B-52 takes off, and naval bases in Japan and Okinawa, where nuclear-powered submarines are launched, are within the striking range of the DPRK's precision strike means."



The French news agency says a Japanese foreign ministry official "voiced regret" at the threats. There has been no immediate response from U.S. officials.

North Korea has made almost daily threats against the U.S. and its allies following U.N. sanctions that were passed in response to its latest nuclear and missile tests.

Also Thursday, North Korea put its military on alert and issued an air raid warning, in what appeared to be further preparation for war. The warnings were later cancelled. South Korean officials say they assume the activities were part of an air defense drill.

Meanwhile, the U.S. says a portion of its annual military exercises with Seoul ended as scheduled Thursday. Officials say the computer-based drill, known as Key Resolve, effectively exercised plans to defend South Korea "against external aggression and restore stability to Korean Peninsula." A separate set of drills, known as Foal Eagle, are scheduled to last through April.

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