KCNA (North Korea), THE KOREA TIMES (South Korea), AFP, REUTERS
North Korea announced on Tuesday that it had put its artillery and rocket units into "combat posture," and threatened to attack South Korea and U.S. bases in Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. mainland.
The Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army released a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), warning that the alert affects “all the field artillery units including strategic rocket units and long-range artillery units which are assigned to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops in the U.S. mainland and on Hawaii and Guam and other operational zone in the Pacific, as well as all the enemy targets in South Korea and its vicinity.”
The provocation is the latest in a series of threats issued by Pyongyang over the past few weeks, in retaliation to tougher UN sanctions and to U.S.-South Korea military drills and a new joint operational plan, The Korea Times writes.
The new threats come as South Korea marks the third anniversary of the sinking of the Cheonan warship by a North Korean torpedo – an attack that left 46 sailors dead.
In a speech at the national cemetery in the central city of Daejeon where the ship was sunk, South Korean president Park Geun-hye warned North Korea that its only "path to survival" lay in abandoning its nuclear and missile programs, the AP reports.
Although they are not believed to have the capability to hit U.S. mainland with an atomic weapon, North Korea’s medium-range missiles are in range of the U.S. military’s bases in the Pacific Ocean, Reuters reports.
Earlier this week, North Korea released its latest propaganda video that depicts paratroopers descending on Seoul in an invasion scenario that it said would see thousands of U.S. citizens living in South Korea taken hostage (see below).