North Korea readies rockets to strike US bases
Pyongyang: In yet another indication of escalating tension between Washington and Pyongyang, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has reportedly ordered the rocket units to be on standby to attack the US bases in Pacific and in South Korea.
Reports, Friday, claimed that the order in this regard was given by the North Korean leader following an emergency meeting this morning after the US flew its Stealth Bombers in a show of force to Pyongyang.
According to North Korea’s official KCNA news agency, Kim signed off the orders after meeting the top generals early morning and judged “the time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists in view of the prevailing situation.”
The United States administration had on Thursday warned the danger from North Korea is rising and that Washington is ready for 'any eventuality' after flying two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers over ally South Korea.
With tensions soaring on the divided peninsula, the United States defied North Korean threats of retribution and took the rare step of announcing that the state-of-the-art jets flew from the United States for the exercises.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, dismissing suggestions that the B-2 mission could aggravate tensions, said the United States was committed to 'unequivocally defend' South Korea as well as Japan.
“We will be prepared - we have to be prepared - to deal with any eventuality,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon yesterday.
“We must make clear that these provocations by the North are taken by us very seriously and we'll respond to that,” he said.
The two B-2s flew 20,800 kilometers from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and back home without stopping after demonstrating a precision strike by dropping ordnance on a target range in the South.
The US rarely acknowledges B-2 flights to the Korean peninsula, which remains technically at war.
The flight came as part of annual drills between the United States and South Korea, which North Korea each year denounces as preparations for war but which have drawn particularly fierce criticism this time.
The North has cut off the hotline before, most recently in March 2009, but the line was reconnected less than two weeks later.