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    A sales assistant watches TV sets broadcasting a news report on North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul, January 6, 2016

    North Korea Threatens to 'Wipe Out' US 'All at Once'

    © REUTERS/ Kim Hong-Ji
    Asia & Pacific
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    North Korea maintains that its pursuit of nuclear weapons is purely defensive, but it has made some curiously specific threats.

    After last week’s test of what Pyongyang claims was a hydrogen bomb, North Korean media went on the defensive in an attempt to deflect international criticism. Claiming that the tests marked a "new high stage" in the country’s nuclear capabilities, the country’s official KCNA news agency stressed that North Korea’s goals were to ensure peace through a strong defense.

    "The test was neither to 'threaten' anyone, nor to 'provoke' someone for a certain purpose," KCNA said, adding that the move by Pyongyang was a "sure guarantee" that it will not be attacked.

    For all the country’s defensive posturing, the following statement from KCNA contradicts Pyongyang’s stated peaceful intent.

    "[North Korean scientists] are in high spirit to detonate H-bombs of hundreds of kilotons and megatons, capable of wiping out the whole territory of the US all at once," the outlet reported.

    But possessing a nuclear device is only half of the equation. An effective delivery mechanism is essential.

    To that end, North Korea released video footage last week of a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile test. If true, this would dramatically expand the range of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

    But US experts are doubtful.

    "The rocket ejected, began to light, and then failed catastrophically," Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told Reuters. Her organization carefully analyzed each frame of the missile video.

    "North Korea used heavy video editing to cover over this fact."

    According to Hanham, the video splices together multiple angles of a single launch to make it appear as if several missiles are being fired. John Schilling, an aerospace engineer, did his own analysis, and told Reuters that the tests appear to take place from a submerged barge, rather than a submarine.

    "The failed launch, combined with testing from a barge shows that North Korea still has a long way to go to develop this system," he said. "An initial operational capability of a North Korean ballistic-missile submarine is not expected before 2020."

    Experts have questioned the validity of Pyongyang’s hydrogen bomb claims, pointing to relatively small seismic waves detected after Wednesday’s explosion.

    Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula. On Monday, Pyongyang claimed it had detained an American citizen on charges of spying for South Korea. In response to the alleged nuclear test, the Pentagon flew a B-52 bomber over the peninsula, and on Monday put all US forces stationed in South Korea on high alert.

    Related:

    Fear of US Aggression Drives N Korea’s Nuke Program – Peace Leader
    N Korea's H-Bomb Test Prompts US Hawks to Call for Military Buildup
    Obama Lacks 'Gravitas' to Respond to N Korea Nuclear Test - US Congressman
    Tags:
    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), ballistic missile launches, hydrogen bomb, nuclear tests, KCNA, Pentagon, John Schilling, Melissa Hanham, South Korea, United States
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    • avatar
      marcanhalt
      500 million with one shot!! Now this I got to see! "Hey! need a volunteer for ISS?"
    • karlgros0
      It is very sad state of the affairs that any statetoday can only be sure of not being attacked by the USA is to have atom weapons. In 1960' s a Jugoslave interior minister was promoting the development of an atom bomb for Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia definitively had the know how and the talent to pull that off. But Yugoslav peaceful non-nuclear policy did not allow that and he was sacked. In 1990's Nato, USA and Canada illegally bombed Yugoslavia to separate. Kosovo from Yugoslavia. If Yugoslavia had an atom bomb no bombing would have taken place. North Korea has no other option,
    • avatar
      hopscotch64
      I certainly wish the DPKR would not make threatening statements, it is not necessary and gives the US an excuse for preemptive military adventures. I can understand the enthusiasm of the DPRK in what could be a landmark advancement in nuclear research but the rhetoric need not be threatening or directed at any state. This type of statement makes the world think that an immature state has position of weapons of mass destruction and is not responsible enough to handle the awesome responsibility, causing wide spread damage to the image of the DPRK.
    • M. Dennis
      NK make so many threats, there like the boy who cried wolf. It's hard to take them seriously. Most people I've spoken to about it just chuckle and think there a joke.... I seriously don't know if they continue to threaten the US whether or not the public in the west would care if NK was invaded... they are threatening civilians more than the US government after all with the use of nuclear bombs... perhaps it's time to shake the flea's off NK and give the people there country back... The people in NK probably deserve to be liberated more than anyone else at the moment simply because there disliking of the west doesn't stem from religious beliefs but rather the result of being brainwashed by there mental government....
    • Blackie
      If NK were serious they would not give warning about going to bomb US.
      Silly propaganda, and maybe at all Asians that they are all so dumb.
    • BlueStar
      North Korea is a circus for clowns. Unreliable, they have become a huge joke such that many even doubt their claims of weapons test time and again. They keep creating pretexts the US need to encircle China with an eye on Russia by placing military hardware in South Korea and trying to create a Missile Defence Shield against a non-existing North Korea treat. One commentator said '' NK is like someone fighting in a drinking bar who keeps removing and tearing his shirts, but never throwing a single punch''.
    • avatar
      arnelmadrinan
      blah blah blah why not just bomb them , lets us see
    • Well between North Korea and the us I know who is the most dangerous.
    • avatar
      rmukarutabana
      If it began to light, then they'll correct the fail and get it right quickly... Therefore they can still frighten off the Americans...
      But is any of this true, anyway?
    • avatar
      wconell
      Jung Fung Chung (Whatever his name is) still can't get it up I see.
    • avatar
      Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tormukarutabana(Show commentHide comment)
      rmukarutabana, Did North Korea really threaten anybody? Since this alleged threat is so blatantly ludicrous it makes me wonder if it is even real. Or is it just a US Government plant which will be used by the US media to stir up support for a war against North Korea? Do we really know if the threat was actually made, and even if it was do we really know who made it? Just because somebody says they threatened the US doesn't necessarily mean they did. Even if a threat was made, it could have been done by someone only claiming to be North Korean. Why would the North Koreans make the threat when it only increases the US threat to themselves and hurts their own position? To do so would make no logical sense.
    • avatar
      manofsteel194275
      "The failed launch, combined with testing from a barge shows that North Korea still has a long way to go to develop this system,"

      Okay then, now is the time for the nation's that is with an 's' to get together for one mission, the mission to take down that crazy guy leading North Korea and threatening the world with destruction by fire. Here is a chance for the world to show some unity.
    • avatar
      manofsteel194275
      Okay then, now is the time for the nation's that is with an 's' to get together for one mission, the mission to take down that crazy guy leading North Korea and threatening the world with destruction by fire. Here is a chance for the world to show some unity.
    • avatar
      Truth Seekerin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, 500 million? Don't make me laugh. Maths really isn't your strong point is it?
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toTruth Seeker(Show commentHide comment)
      Truth Seeker, ...and humor isn't one of yours?
    • avatar
      Truth Seekerin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, Unless of course you're counting the roaches as human?
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toTruth Seeker(Show commentHide comment)
      Truth Seeker, I lost count after twelve thousand and that was when I got them to march two by two. The trick is to test for two really, really smart ones to begin with. Found them in the library, :-)
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