News / Asia

Fresh North Korean Threat to Attack America, South Korea

North Korean soldiers march in front of flower waving civilians during a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. (File)
North Korean soldiers march in front of flower waving civilians during a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. (File)
TEXT SIZE - +
— North Korea says it has put its rocket units on the highest combat readiness level. The announcement includes fresh threats to strike U.S. military bases and South Korea.

The official North Korean news agency and state radio Tuesday afternoon carried the latest announcement from the army's supreme command that all field artillery units, including those armed with strategic rockets and long-range artillery, are now at the top level of "combat-ready posture."
 
The announcer reading the military's statement on the central broadcasting station in Pyongyang declared the units "will target all enemy objects in U.S. offensive bases on its mainland, Hawaii and Guam."
 
The targets, according to the broadcast, also include South Korea, with the warning that at first shot "everything will be blown away and turned to ash."
 
South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense says this is the first time Pyongyang's military has ever publicly referred to an “il-ho” – or number one – combat readiness alert.
 
It is the latest in an escalating round of bellicose rhetoric from the North, which has included a threat to conduct a preemptive nuclear strike on the United States.
 
The command issued to the rocket units comes days after the U.S. air force flew B-52 sorties over the peninsula as part of an annual joint drill with South Korean forces. And it comes just hours after South Korean President Park Geun-hye said it is time for North Korea to change for its own sake.
 
The president, speaking at the national cemetery in Daejeon, says "the only way North Korea will survive is if it voluntarily lays down its nuclear weapons, missiles, provocations and threats, and transforms into a responsible member of the international community."
 
The speech was part of a memorial marking the March 26, 2010 sinking of a South Korean coastal warship that killed 46 sailors.
 
South Korea and others who joined a multinational investigation into the explosion on the Cheonan in the Yellow Sea concluded the ship was hit by a North Korean torpedo. Pyongyang has denied carrying out the attack.

Related video report by Jeff Custer
N. Korea Threatens Attacks on Guam, Hawaii, US Mainlandi
X
March 26, 2013
North Korea has issued fresh threats against the United States, this time warning it could fire rockets on Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland in retaliation for American bomber sorties. The new threats followed a speech by the president of South Korea. Jeff Custer reports.
In a letter to soldiers marking the anniversary of the Cheonan's sinking, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin requested the military stay on high alert so it can immediately retaliate should there be another North Korean attack.
 
As the solemn observance was taking place in the South, military maneuvers were apparently underway in the North. But there has been no indication any attack is imminent.
 
Wee Yong-sub is a spokesman for South Korea's Ministry of National Defense.
 
Wee says there appears to be a state-level military drill underway with amphibious landings and counter-landing operations conducted by North Korea's navy and army.
 
A three-year war fought by the two Koreas in the early 1950's ended in a stalemate. A peace treaty was never signed.
 
Two weeks ago, Pyongyang declared the 1953 war truce invalid. The U.S.-led U.N. command says the document remains in effect and that no one party to the armistice can abrogate it.
  • Soldiers of the Korean People's Army take part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597 in the east coastal area in North Korea, March 25, 2013.
  • A North Korean soldier attends military training in an undisclosed location in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency, March 19, 2013.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un talks with generals as soldiers of the Korean People's Army take part in landing and anti-landing drills in eastern North Korea, March 25, 2013.
  • The North Korean shore as seen from South Korean island of Yeongpyeong.
  • North Korean soldiers attend military training in an undisclosed location in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency, March 19, 2013.
  • North Korea's artillery sub-units, whose mission is to strike Daeyeonpyeong island and Baengnyeong island of South Korea, conduct a live shell firing drill to examine war fighting capabilities in the western sector of the front line, March 14, 2013.
  • The air force and air defense artillery units of of the Korean People's Army conducts a drill of drone planes assaulting targets in a picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency, March 20, 2013.
  • Members of the United Nations Security Council vote to tighten sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, March 7, 2013.
  • April 8, 2012: A soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 rocket sitting on a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, northwest of Pyongyang, North Korea.
  • North Koreans celebrate the successful launch of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang December 14, 2012. The sign reads: "Let's glorify dignity and honor of great people of Kim Il Sung and of Korea of Kim Jong Il in the world
  • Comparison of the UNHA-2 and UNHA-3 rocket flight paths

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kafantaris from: USA, Ohio
March 27, 2013 5:32 AM
Aside from Iran, no country can shoot itself better in the foot than North Korea. There must be something in the water over there.


by: Haron from: Afghanistan
March 26, 2013 1:34 PM
I think North Korea does not need to give alert for their soldiers to be ready for any treat. because everything is possible from satellite where they have prepared rocket to damage white house in Washington D,C and New York's Skyscrapers. no-doubt that South Korea will be damage more than Afghanistan. if USA want to be a partial for South Korea then Russia and China will being partial to North Korea due to Communists Policy and alliance.

In Response

by: Green Line from: USA
March 27, 2013 1:23 PM
Haron from Afghanistan, have you been reading anything on this? Or are you capable of reading? As of this writing, North Korea can't even reach Hawaii with weapons, and they can't reach Seattle, so how in the world do you figure they can reach DC or NYC that sits on the other side of the country? And as far as satellites, the US has the most advanced in the world. Don't undermine US technology. Even the computer you used to write about your garbage is from technology that was developed in the United States.

And you think China or Russia will support North Korea? China just sided with the US on applying more sanctions on NK. By the way things are escalating, at this time China or Russia would not want their relationship with the US to dwindle to zero because they supported a rogue nation that threatens everyone and doesn't even try to feed its own people. And if you're such a fan of North Korea, maybe you should read about Camp 14.

In Response

by: MLJ from: USA
March 26, 2013 2:58 PM
N/K doesn't need to target DC & NY. We should be watching any activity from our south. Cuba has been too quite over this.


by: Hovhannes from: Montevideo
March 26, 2013 11:01 AM
North Korea's Kim Jon Un, a spoiled brat exhibiting behavioral problems from overindulgence by his dad, is asking for a very good spanking.

In Response

by: Jon from: USA
March 26, 2013 1:15 PM
Seriously. I wish he would JUST SHUT UP and pull the trigger. Enough talk! Let's see some action. I feel if we can take him and his regime out, we can finally free those poor people under his tyranny.


by: Muhammad s usman from: Nigeria
March 26, 2013 8:47 AM
N/K military stay on high alert that's Nice

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid