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)
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 5:19 PM
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, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

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