Pyongyang: Thousands of North Korean soldiers, students, veterans and workers on Friday took part in a mass rally here in support of Kim Jong-un`s order to be prepared for strategic rocket strikes on the US mainland and military bases in the Pacific and South Korea, as per BBC reports.
The order 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, reports said further.
However, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not present in the rally.
Reacting to the above announcement, a South Korean defence ministry spokesman described the North Korean decision as a `continuing measure`, after its announcement to adopt `combat posture`.
"The rally took place to support a decision issued by the Korean People`s Army supreme command on Tuesday which was later approved by Kim Jong-un today, to put the country`s strategic rocket units on a war footing," state television said.
The mass rally of civilians and soldiers pledged their loyalty to the current leadership while carrying giant portraits of Kim`s father Kim Jong-il and grandfather Kim Il-Sung.
"Let`s become guns and bombs for our respected leader Kim Jong-un!," they chanted, pumping their fists in unison.
Earlier on Thursday, The United States administration had warned that since the danger from North Korea is rising, Washington is ready for `any eventuality` after flying two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers over ally South Korea.
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, however, noted there is no need not of any immediate action more than the recently announced missile defence system by US in wake of the military advances by the North ever since the change of regime.
"We don`t have any choice in defending this country but to anticipate worst-case scenarios. We do know the North Koreans have missile capability (and) they have significant capability, and as we think through long-term threats, we have (to) ensure (not only) for short term but also for long term," Hagel said at a news conference today.
"These are decision-making processes that evolve based on threats, potential threats. You only needed to be wrong once. I don`t know what the President, Chairman or Secretary of Defence wants to be wrong once when it comes to nuclear threats," Hagel added.
A day earlier, Hagel spoke to his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan Jin to review security situation.
"This relationship between the US and South Korea is particularly important, at a particularly important time," he said.
Defending the decision to fly B-2 over South Korean skyline as part of a joint exercise, Hagel refuted reports that this was a provocative action on the part of the US.
"The US and South Korea, have not been involved in provocating anything. We, over the years, have been engaged with South Korea on joint exercises. The B-2 flight was part of that," he said in response to a question.
Arguing that the US, South Korea and all powers in that region are committed to a pathway to peace, he alleged the North Koreans seem to be headed in a different direction here.
"So we will unequivocally defend and we are unequivocally committed to the alliance with South Korea as well as our other allies in that region of the world, and we will be prepared to deal with any eventuality there," Hagel said.
Even though some of the statements coming from North Korea are rhetoric and provocative in nature, Hagel said these have to be taken seriously.
"We`ve seen some historical trajectory here on where North Korea occasionally will go to try to get the attention of the US, to try to maneuver us into some positions favorably to them, whether it`s more assistance or bilateral engagement," he said.
North Korea, he said, has to understand that what they`re doing is very dangerous, and they have some options.