North Korea says nuclear weapons can reach U.S.

SpaceDaily.com reports: “North Korea warned that the US mainland was ‘well within’ the range of its nuclear weapons, as Pyongyang continued to ramp up the bellicose rhetoric after its recent nuclear test.

In an article posted on the official Uriminzokkiri website, a member of the Korean National Peace Committee — a propaganda body — said the North was now a ‘fully-independent rocket and nuclear weapons state’.

‘The United States should be acutely aware that the US mainland is now well within the range of our strategic rockets and nuclear weapons,’ the signed commentary said.

North Korea made a similar claim in October last year, saying it possessed rockets capable of striking the continental United States.

That was largely dismissed as bluster, but that was before Pyongyang conducted a successful long-range rocket launch in December, followed by its third nuclear test on February 12.

Although most experts believe the North has a long way to go to developing a dependable inter-continental ballistic missile, the December launch was a strong step in the right direction.

And this month’s nuclear test also fuelled concerns that North Korea is refining the technical ability to place a miniaturised nuclear warhead on a long-range missile…” (During the 3 ½ year Armageddon campaign – Daniel 9:27 – Russia will be defeated – Ezekiel 39:1, 2, 12, 13. At this point the “Kings of the East”, China and other Oriental nations will arrive to unite with Russia’s and Islam’s defeated armies – Revelation 16:2 – for the greatest continuation of slaughter in the annals of history. See Revelation 9:14 – 18. See the next three reports backing my Biblical analysis.)

North Korea can’t hit America, but South Korea and Japan in range

Reuters reports: “North Korea has plenty of military firepower even if its threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States is a hollow one, with South Korea most at risk from the isolated regime’s artillery and rockets.

Japan, separated by less than 1,000 km (625 miles) of water and a frequent target of North Korea’s ire, is also in easy range of Pyongyang’s short- and mid-range missiles.

In pure numbers, North Korea’s military looks formidable, much larger than the more affluent South in both personnel and equipment. The North’s 1.2 million soldiers face off against 640,000 South Korean troops who are backed up by 26,000 U.S. personnel stationed in the country.

However, Pyongyang’s capabilities are not what the figures would suggest. Impoverished North Korea has all but abandoned running a conventional military that can engage in sustained battle because of scare resources and has instead focused on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology, experts said.

‘A conventional military is very costly, and overwhelmingly so for North Korea. It quickly becomes a money fight and North Korea cannot win that,’ said Shin In-kyun, head of the Korea Defence Network, an alliance of defence experts based in Seoul.

Nevertheless, a defence policy statement from South Korea in December noted that North Korea’s frontline artillery pieces could launch a ‘sudden and massive’ barrage on the capital Seoul, a mere 50 km (31 miles) from the Demilitarized Zone border that separates the two Koreas.

North Korea has around 12,000 artillery guns, many arrayed near the border. It also has an arsenal of intermediate range missiles in operational deployment, some of which can travel more than 3,000 km (1,875 miles). That puts South Korea and Japan in range as well as the U.S. territory of Guam.

‘They have the capability to strike anywhere in the South and Japan,’ said Shin…”

South Korea Vows Retaliation if North Breaks Truce

Voice of America News reports: “South Korea is responding firmly to North Korea’s threat to abrogate the peninsula’s truce agreement and resume military action.

‘If North Korea conducts any provocations that threaten the life and safety of South Koreans then it should be clear there will be strong and decisive punishment not only against the source of the aggression and its support forces, but also the commanding element,’ South Korean army general Kim Yong-hyun told reporters at the Ministry of National Defense.

The South Korean response follows some of the most explicit threats of action in years from the North.

The Wednesday [March 6, 2013] edition of the North Korean worker’s party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, says Pyongyang will be compelled to take action because joint annual drills involving U.S. and South Korean forces are actually intended as a surprise ‘preemptive nuclear strike’ against the North…”

China warns against Korea escalation

BBC News reports: “China has appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula, hours after North Korea said it had scrapped all peace pacts with the South and threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

China, the North’s only major ally, said all sides should continue to talk and avoid ‘further escalation’.

Pyongyang has reacted angrily to another round of sanctions imposed by the UN over its recent nuclear test.

The sanctions restrict luxury goods imports and banking activities.

Beijing provides fuel, food and diplomatic cover to Pyongyang.

It has repeatedly voted in favour of UN sanctions imposed over the nuclear programme, but enforcement of the measures in China is patchy.

Hua Chunying of China’s foreign ministry told a news conference: ‘China and North Korea have normal country relations. At the same time, we also oppose North Korea’s conducting of nuclear tests.

‘China calls on the relevant parties to be calm and exercise restraint and avoid taking any further action that would cause any further escalations.’…”