News / Asia

North Korea: 'Time Has Come to Settle Accounts' with United States

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 29, 2013 shows, according to KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussing the strike plan with North Korean officers during an urgent operation meeting at the Supreme Command in an undisclosed location. (Courtesy - AFP Photo/KCNA VIA KNS)
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 29, 2013 shows, according to KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussing the strike plan with North Korean officers during an urgent operation meeting at the Supreme Command in an undisclosed location. (Courtesy - AFP Photo/KCNA VIA KNS)
North Korea claims its leader has put the military's rocket forces on standby to strike the United States. It is the latest threat from Pyongyang as tension continues to tighten on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea's ministry of national defense says it cannot confirm a report of increased activity Friday among North Korea's mid-and-long range missile units. But it acknowledges intelligence officials of both South Korean and U.S. forces have increased monitoring of them.

The semi-official Yonhap news agency in Seoul quotes a military source saying “sharply increased movements of vehicles and soldiers have been detected recently at North Korea's mid and long-range missile sites.”

This follows an announcement from Pyongyang quoting leader Kim Jong Un that “the time has come to settle scores with the U.S. imperialists” and the country's missile units are now on standby.

An announcer on Pyongyang Central Broadcasting Station says the country's supreme leader in a midnight emergency meeting ratified a firepower strike plan against the U.S. mainland, American bases in the Pacific - including Hawaii and Guam - and U.S. bases in South Korea.

The broadcast announcement said North Korea would attack should the United States “bring in enormous strategic armed forces and cause a reckless provocation.”

A spokesman for South Korea's defense ministry Kim Min-seok, says this appears to be a North Korean propaganda exercise.

Kim says such operational orders, as a rule, would be conveyed confidentially. But, he says, reporting it publicly to let the entire world know seems like a psychological operation.

The emergency operations meeting in Pyongyang came in response to Thursday's flights of a pair of U.S. Air Force B-2 bombers over South Korea. The Pyongyang broadcast says the leader stated that the flights were an ultimatum that the United States “would start a nuclear war.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel denied the stealth bomber flights were intended as a provocation, but rather meant to assure U.S. allies in the region “that they can count on us to be prepared and to help them deter conflict.”

The defense secretary says officials “every provocative, bellicose word and action” of the young third-generation leader who came to power at the end of 2011 has to be taken seriously.

“We've seen some historical trajectory here on where North Korea occasionally will go to try to get the attention of the United States, to try to maneuver us into some position favorably to them, whether it's more assistance or bilateral engagement," he said. "But the fact is that this is the wrong way to go. The action that he's taken and the actions they've taken and the words he's used, it is not going to project a more responsible, accountable relationship.“

North Korea, in recent weeks, has threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the United States.

It is under various U.N. sanctions for its programs to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The reclusive and impoverished state is believed to have a small number of nuclear warheads but not the capability to effectively deploy them on long-range missiles.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: vile from: us
March 30, 2013 12:58 PM
have you read chinese kungfu stories, young inherited Korea son will see a boy is exploded by his generals in deciding a horrible operation. Oh a pity of North Korea people...

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
March 29, 2013 1:23 PM
Curious to see if NK can defeat US like Vietnam did before.

Russia and China for sure are happy to see another defeat of US in Asia.

by: Michael from: USA
March 29, 2013 9:48 AM
Threats in diplomacy are historically as real as any putsch would be. But the Nazis for example who tried this in Austria before the war, later were sentenced to death by Austria. This shows that from diplomacy, to act, to result, there is a free and fair exchange

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 29, 2013 5:32 AM
So North Korea is playing a game? Is it failing in its dictum of 'the fear of nuclear weapon as the beginning of wisdom in the US'? The buck stops at the table of a 28yr old boy calling all the shots and making all the decisions for a country. Talk about the gods must be crazy. How cool is Kim Jong Un's head to use all this war hype to attract more incentives from the US to build more missile launchers and warheads?

Cool enough to mobilize enough action at its country's short and long range missile sites. Cool enough to want to show his importance as leader within the region and resilience as head of NK government by threatening the world with nuclear war. But who's going to teach him that his diplomacy is outdated? Surely not Russia, not China. Maybe Iran will. Welcome to the new world order of unbridled diplomacy: Achieve what you want to achieve - by threat!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More