North Korea Threatens US Pacific Bases

North Korea issued its latest in a series of warnings to the US and its allies Monday, threatening to attack US bases throughout the Pacific as well as the state of Hawaii.

North Korea‘s military issued a statement claiming that it will direct field artillery and missile units to target US bases in the Pacific, including the state of Hawaii, Guam, and US allies South Korea and Japan.

The latest threat came only hours after South Korean President Park Geun-hye called for North Korea to cease developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. South Korea also pushed North Korea to cease is threats and provocations. North Korea, in a sharp rebuttal of South Korea’s warning, responded with more provocations and threats.

“They should be mindful that everything will be reduced to ashes and flames the moment the first attack is unleashed,” the North Korean People’s Army Supreme Command said in a statement.

North Korea has detested the joint military exercises currently being performed by the US and South Korea. The US has flown B-52 bombers over South Korea as part of the exercises, particularly aggravating the North.

“We are firmly committed to defending the Republic of Korea and Japan,” a Pentagon spokesperson told CNN.

Tensions in the reason have intensified in recent years. In late 2010, following South Korean artillery exercises in waters off the Korean peninsula, North Korea shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing four and injuring 19. South Korea responded by shelling North Korean gun positions. In late 2012, North Korea tested a long-range rocket. The isolated nation performed its third nuclear test just last month, making even its most prominent ally nervous.

Kim Jong-un became the Supreme Leader of North Korea in late 2011 and is still jockeying for power and respect among leaders who scrutinize his age. Both American and East Asian analysts suspect that North Korea’s recent line of threats against the US and its allies are boisterous gestures meant to gain credibility domestically rather than abroad.

[Imaga via ShutterStock]

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