North Korea today released photographs of Kim Jong Un inside his military command centre signing the order to put rockets on standby to attack the U.S. mainland.
The news came on the same day that the country announced it was in a ‘state of war’ with neighbouring country South Korea.The pictures, which appeared in the state-run Rodong newspaper, show Kim surrounded by his generals, large-scale maps and diagrams during an ’emergency meeting’ at an undisclosed location.
A chart marked ‘U.S. mainland strike plan’ appears to show missile trajectories that the NK News web site estimates targets Hawaii, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.However closer inspection of the chart shows the flight path missing these targets as it cuts through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
The order from leader Kim Jong Un came after the U.S. flew two stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula.In an escalation of long-standing tensions with Seoul, a provocative statement was released by North Korea’s government, ruling party and other organizations by the country’s official news agency.The statement read: ‘From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly.’North Korea has been threatening to attack South korea and US military bases almost on a daily basis since the beginning of March.
But few believe the country well engage in full-scale war. The two Koreas have been in a technical state of war because their 1950-53 conflict ended under an armistice and not a peace treaty – however Pyongyang declared the truce no longer valid in March.Meanwhile, thousands of North Koreans turned out for a mass rally today in support of their leader Kim Jong Un’s call to arms.Soldiers and students chanted ‘death to the U.S. imperialists’ and ‘sweep away the U.S. aggressors’ at Kim Il Sung Square in downtown Pyongyang.
The U.S. said the stealth bomber practice runs were designed to show its ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes ‘quickly and at will.’Seoul, which has been carrying out routine military drills with America, says it is closely monitoring movements in North Korea.Many Western experts believe the aggressive posturing is part of a grand master plan to force Washington to the negotiating table and put pressure the new president in Seoul to change policy on North Korea.
Pyongyang is angry about a hike in sanctions, imposed after it carried out a third nuclear test in February.A full-blown North Korean attack is unlikely. However, there are fears of a more localised conflict.Narushige Michishita, director of the Security and International Studies Program at Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, isn’t convinced North Korea is capable of attacking Guam, Hawaii or the U.S. mainland.He says Pyongyang hasn’t successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.
But its medium-range Rodong missiles, with a range of about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers), are ‘operational and credible’ and could reach U.S. bases in Japan, he says.The country’s official KCNA news agency reported that Kim Jong Un has signed off on orders to train sights on bases in South Korea and the Pacific following a meeting with top generals.The news comes just hours after U.S. stealth bombers with nuclear-capability took to the skies over South Korea on Thursday.
Relations between South Korea and its neighbor to the North have continued to deteriorate in recent days and KCNA reports that Kim Jong Un had ‘judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation.’The agency said: ‘He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the KPA, ordering them to be standby for fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea. – DailyTimes