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US says it takes North Korea's threats seriously

 
 
 
 
 
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SA-3 ground-to-air missiles are displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang

The United States Department of Defense has said it takes North Korea’s latest threats to strike targets on the US mainland, Hawaii, and Guam very seriously.

“We are concerned by any threat raised by the North Koreans,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Tuesday. “We take everything they say and everything they do very seriously. They need to stop threatening peace, that doesn’t help anyone.”

“North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to achieve peace and stability in northeast Asia,” the spokesman said.

“We stand ready to respond to any contingency,” he added.

In a statement on Tuesday, North Korea’s Supreme Command said that it had elevated its artillery and strategic missile forces to “combat-ready posture”, adding that it was ready to strike US territory.

North Korea said it would “show off our army and people’s stern reaction to safeguard our sovereignty and the highest dignity through military actions.”

It added that the enemies of North Korea “have gone beyond the danger line and reached the phase of an actual war.”

The army is now on high alert to “annihilate the enemies at one stroke, once an order for action is given,” it noted.

The statement added that the units should be prepared to attack “all US military bases in the Asia-Pacific region, including the US mainland, Hawaii, and Guam” and South Korea. “All artillery troops including strategic rocket units and long-range artillery units are to be placed under class-A combat readiness,” it further said.

The announcement came days after South Korea and the US signed a new military pact in response to what they called even low-level provocations by Pyongyang.

On March 11, Seoul and Washington launched a week-long annual joint military maneuver near the Korean Peninsula despite warnings from Pyongyang. The maneuver involved 10,000 South Korean soldiers and about 3,000 US troops.

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