SEOUL – The North Korean army on Thursday threatened a possible strike against US military bases in Japan, in response to the use of nuclear-armed US B-52 bombers in joint military drills with South Korea.
The threat came a day after Pyongyang condemned the B-52 flights as an “unpardonable provocation” and threatened military action if they continue.
The Pentagon confirmed that B-52s, taking off from Andersen Air Force base in Guam, had flown over South Korea as part of annual joint exercises that Pyongyang insist are a rehearsal for provocation.
“We cannot tolerate the US carrying out nuclear strike drills, setting us as targets, and advertising them as strong warning messages,” a spokesman for the North’s supreme army command said.
“The US should not forget that the Anderson base … as well as naval bases at Japan’s main island and Okinawa, are all within the range of our precision target assets,” he said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.
Military tensions on the Korean peninsula are at their highest level for years, with North Korea – angered by UN sanctions imposed after its nuclear test last month – threatening a second Korean War backed by nuclear weapons.
B-52s have taken part in South Korea-US joint exercises before, but the Pentagon said it had publicised their use this time to underline US commitment to defending its South Korean ally. — AFP
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