Tuesday, October 9, 2012

North Korea Boasts Its Missiles Can Strike the U.S.

Missile Threats

In an article in the New York Times, North Korea has boasted that its missiles can strike at the heart of the United States. This bluster comes a few days after the U.S. and South Korea signed a deal to give the South more military punch, doubling the range of its ballistic missiles. The Times writes:
North Korea has often threatened to strike the “heart” of the United States, and a popular propaganda poster there shows a North Korean missile hitting what looks unmistakably like Capitol Hill. But the warning issued Tuesday was more detailed. 
The North Koreans “do not hide” that their armed forces, “including the strategic rocket forces, are keeping within the scope of strike not only the bases of the puppet forces and the U.S. imperialist aggression forces’ bases in the inviolable land of Korea but also Japan, Guam and the U.S. mainland,” a spokesman at the North’s National Defense Commission said in a statement. North Korea often refers to the South Korean military as “puppet forces,” a reference to the South’s alliance with the United States.
The North’s “strategic rocket forces” are believed to be in charge of the country’s missiles. The North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, visited the unit’s headquarters in March and mentioned it by name during his first public speech in April.
All this bragging on the part of North Korea is a way to  pump up the nation, which is suffering terribly from this authoritarian regime. That its people are malnourished and starving, and that one-third of its children show signs of stunted growth, seem to matter little to the North's leader. It is highly unlikely that the North would think about launching a missile at its counterparts in the South, let alone Japan or the U.S.

As the AFP article says: "Reacting to Pyongyang's claims that it possessed rockets capable of striking the US mainland, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said North Korea should realize threats and provocation will achieve nothing.
That's only going to undermine their efforts to get back in the conversation with the international community. Rather than bragging about its missile capability, they ought to be feeding their own people.

Nothing more can be added.

You can read the rest of the article at [New York Times]