NKorea warns military cleared to wage nuke attack

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South Korean Marine K-55 self-propelled howitzers are on positions during an exercise against possible attacks by North Korea near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. AP/Ahn Young-joon

SEOUL, South Korea — Ratcheting up the rhetoric, North Korea warned early Thursday that its military has been cleared to wage an attack on the U.S. using “smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear” weapons.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, said in Washington that it will deploy a missile defense system to the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam to strengthen regional protection against a possible attack from North Korea. The defense secretary said the U.S. was seeking to defuse the situation.

Despite the rhetoric, analysts say they do not expect a nuclear attack by North Korea, which knows the move could trigger a destructive, suicidal war that no one in the region wants.

The strident warning from Pyongyang is latest in a series of escalating threats from North Korea, which has railed for weeks against joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises taking place in South Korea and has expressed anger over tightened sanctions for a February nuclear test.

Following through on one threat Wednesday, North Korean border authorities refused to allow entry to South Koreans who manage jointly run factories in the North Korean city of Kaesong.

Washington calls the military drills, which this time have incorporated fighter jets and nuclear-capable stealth bombers, routine annual exercises between the allies. Pyongyang calls them rehearsals for a northward invasion.

The foes fought on opposite sides of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953. The divided Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war six decades later, and Washington keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect its ally.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Washington was doing all it can to defuse the situation, echoing comments a day earlier by Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Some of the actions they’ve taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger and threat to the interests, certainly of our allies, starting with South Korea and Japan and also the threats that the North Koreans have leveled directly at the United States regarding our base in Guam, threatened Hawaii, threatened the West Coast of the United States,” Hagel said Wednesday.

In Pyongyang, the military statement said North Korean troops had been authorized to counter U.S. “aggression” with “powerful practical military counteractions,” including nuclear weapons.

“We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means,” an unnamed spokesman from the General Bureau of the Korean People’s Army said in a statement carried by state media, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “The U.S. had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation.”

However, North Korea’s nuclear strike capabilities remain unclear.

Pyongyang is believed to be working toward building an atomic bomb small enough to mount on a long-range missile. Long-range rocket launches designed to send satellites into space in 2009 and 2012 were widely considered covert tests of missile technology, and North Korea has conducted three underground nuclear tests, most recently in February.

“I don’t believe North Korea has the capacity to attack the United States with nuclear weapons mounted on missiles, and won’t for many years. Its ability to target and strike South Korea is also very limited,” nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, said this week.

“And even if Pyongyang had the technical means, why would the regime want to launch a nuclear attack when it fully knows that any use of nuclear weapons would result in a devastating military response and would spell the end of the regime? ” he said in answers posted to CISAC’s website.

In Seoul, a senior government official said Tuesday that it wasn’t clear how advanced North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities are. But he also noted fallout from any nuclear strike on Seoul or beyond would threaten Pyongyang as well, making a strike unlikely. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly to the media.

North Korea maintains that it needs to build nuclear weapons to defend itself against the United States. On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un led a high-level meeting of party officials who declared building the economy and “nuclear armed forces” as the nation’s two top priorities.

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  • $18209031

    AFP commanders , the signs are there to implement your evacuation plan of Pino expats in SK. We should not underestimate these NK threats. For the safety and welfare of the Pino s n SK, we need to move now.

  • Albert Einstien

    IMMINENT, CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER……………now they are NATIONAL SECURITY RISKs…….POSTPONE the BALIKATAN EXERCISE till next year…..be SAFE than DEAD……RP will be …wiped-out in a COLLATERAL nuclear ATTACK by NK nuclear attacks on US warships in our territories & internal waters……US warships & submarines are NUCLEAR attack MAGNETS….mauuna pa tayo MATUTUNAW kesa guam, hawaii & US mainland..kung sila nga nagPAPANIC..tayo na saling pusa lang..

    WALA tayong AWAY sa NK kaya di dapat tayo madamay…….US warships can come back and play in SCS after NK threat is NO MORE…. : >)

  • $18209031

    Sounds de javu when the premadonna Gen Macarthur threatened to nuked CHina in 1950 . Now the NKs are the ones threatening a nuclear strike on SK and US bases in Asia Pacific.
    Times have changed. These NKs are something else. Compared to the smelly Vietgooks during the Vietnam War, they were more as guerilla rats. While these NK s are
    more of doomsday slayers.

  • calipso_2100

    Clearly all bluff. Why inform your enemy if you are about to attack?
    KSP lang yata ang lider ng NoKor.

    • hopeless_na

      Siguro wala na silang makain. dapat kasi pansinin na ng UN at bigyan ng pagkain para matigil na.

  • UrHONOR

    UNAHAN na dapat ng USA yan para matuto ng leksiyon si Totoy.

  • $18209031

    The father of this young Kim was an avid Hollywood movie collector. This son is undoubtedly following the mindset of his late father. He is making a movie out of his showman brinkmanship. By making threats he is drawing attention and reinforcing his machismo as leader of NK. I do believe he has plenty of nukes at hand ready to strike. Making threats like what he did should not be underestimated. He is trying to draw fire and will fire.

    While he is doing this, the Iranians are accelerating their nuclear development as they know Israel and US will strike them anytime. So NK and Iran are playing these strategy , the answer we dont know.

  • $18209031

    US SK tandem must strike first to obliterate the thousand s of heavy artillery and rockets now aimed at Seoul. By doing so, they will have first dibs on wiping out these heavy formation of guns and save miliions of SKs. Seoul is the hub of the ROK . At daming Pinoy pa naman dyan. Mahihilig na rin mga yan kumakain ng kimchi mama taga almosal, hapunan at gabihan.
    Parang bagoong kasi nila yan. At sa Hapones , mahilig mga yun sa Wasabi kasama sa sushi at sashimi.

    The most important thing now is evacuate the PIno expats down to the southern tip of SK and move them by sea and air to Japland. Its better to do this now while things are ramping up .

  • joshmale2004

    China maybe cursing now at NK for opening the door for the mighty USA to move its highly advanced war machines in Asia. This deployments will now have double purpose. To counter NK threats and monitor chinese’s own expansionism program in Asia and against its Asian neighbors. For sure, with this window opening, USA will take utmost advantage of the situation to increase its military presence in Asia.

  • carlorocci

    Let’s wait for another 24Hr. Who gonna shot the first fire? It will come from the North. USA and SK are on defence mode after retaliation the war will be over.

  • $18209031

    US sat intel sees no troop movements on the NK side. Why ? Their guns are already well hidden so they dont need to move their troops.
    The reason why they are doing this in my opinion is they know they are next on the list to be attacked by the US. Ten years ago the US invaded Iraq as the first axis of evil accdg to Bush Jr. Then ten years passed the plans to attack Iran and NK are already on the implementation phase.

    Once the US accelerates its pullout in Afghanistan then there will be more forces to focus on NK. NK ‘s behavior is a last ditch effort to stave off invasion plans of the US, and SK forces. For them the best defense is offense. They ll do anything to bluff with the use of nukes.

    The US pivot to Asia and Pacific is to finish off NK. Also to contain China ‘s rise . The US Jap RP Taiwan and VN tandem will spearhead to contain China. They will be backup by India, Aussie NZ , Canada, UK and Nato . CHina has seen this coming and accelerated its military buildup.

  • Roel_Hawk

    Is the Philippines ready to defend in case 1 of Nort Korea’s so called nuclear missile will head its way here? Knowing that there are US ships and soldiers here for Balikatan (burikatan), North Korea would include us as one of their targets.

    • $18209031

      I dont think so. RP will not participate in a US or UN led assault on NK. AFP will reserve its main force in defense of Palawan and Luzon from Chicom forces. Contributing forces to UN High Command for active combat is only a thing of the past. Smart na ang mga armed forces ngayon.

      • Roel_Hawk

        I mean, what are we going to do “if” the nuclear missiles are true and one of them is already heading our way? I beleive that its unlikely but that does not mean we should count on that only… Sana meron din tayong anti-missile capability. (whatever its called…)

      • $18209031

        Pray to Santo Papeng and the power of the Heavens.

    • joshmale2004

      NK is aware that Philippines also sent 7,500 soldiers for SK during the Korean War in 1950. Whether there are US soldiers or none in our territory, we are earmarked as a target. Communist Korea never forget and forgive.

  • Concur_Dissent

    North Korea is a lot poorer than combodia or Laos. North Korea’s economy is equivalent if not lower than countries like Sierra Leon and Rwanda…. Why does NK get more attention than the latter 2 countries? Simply because their waving a huge club and bullying the world to feed them! About high time that something drastic has to be done with these north koreans….

    • $18209031

      THe reason why US SK tandem must carry out the first strikes on those well entrenched guns and rockets near the DMZ. Theres thousands of them well hidden . All have been carefully calibrated to hit Seoul in progressive fashion. They can wipe out Seoul in less than 48 hrs of continuous barrage. Thats how good their artilleries are.
      The maximum number of casualties will be civilians of SEoul. The people of Seoul have already accepted this fate and had built heavy underground tunnels to house its inhabitants .

      • Concur_Dissent

        I’m sure that the US Technology is a bit advance than Israelis technology… The Israelis tried and tested in battle conditions their Iron Dome Anti-Missile System which succesfully intercepted missiles…it is also designed to intercept artillery shells… in addition, within seconds that shells are fired from whereever in NK, will be detected by the 24 hours monitoring system of the US (“the eye in the sky”)

  • tonygadoy

    Look how did it all started when China agreed to the US, pleading to them to implement the UN sponsored sanctions against the NOKOR. In the process, because of the NOKOR’s uncontrolled tantrums, the US has a pretext for a speedy repositioning of his forces which has a 5 year phased, but it has speeding up for just a week. The move has a double edge, because it also has a purpose of containing China’s aggressiveness in claiming the whole shores of Asia. This is how China was being outsmarted. He can now glare at what a real Super Power and not the way China is.

  • Juan John Capas

    If you want Peace! Prepare for War….

    .

    A nation that is militarily credible is bound
    to have less enemies and is likely to stop potential enemies from warring with
    her, hence, to prepare for war does not necessarily mean to engage in war. On
    the contrary… Of course, there is never 100 per cent guarantee but military
    power will help dissuade our enemies from bullying us and instead, will
    encourage them to respect us.

    .

    Give PEACE a chance

    .

    RE POST…

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