US/South Korea Exercise to "Decapitate" North Korea Prompts Threat of Nuclear Retaliation
March 29, 2016 Yonhap News & Korea Times & Associated Press
North Korea warned Saturday that its military is ready to attack Seoul's presidential palace unless South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes for "treason" and publicly executes officials responsible for what Pyongyang says are plans to attack its leadership. On Saturday, the DPRK posted a video titled "Last Chance," depicting a nuclear missile crashing into the streets near Washington's Lincoln Memorial before an explosion wipes out the city.
North Korea Threatens Nuclear Attack on
Washington D.C. in Latest Propaganda Video
[See the complete video below.]
(March 26, 2016) -- The four-minute video shows computer-generated images of a submarine-launched missile bursting into the sky, entering the earth's upper atmosphere and then returning to earth to strike the US capital.... North Korea released a new propaganda video menacingly titled "Last Chance", showing a submarine-launched nuclear missile laying waste to Washington and concluding with the US flag in flames.
The four-minute video, set to jaunty music, romps through the history of US-Korean relations and ends with a digitally manipulated sequence showing a missile surging through clouds, swerving back to the earth and slamming into the road in front of Washington's Lincoln Memorial.
The US Capitol building explodes in the impact and a message flashes up on the screen in Korean: "If US imperialists budge an inch toward us, we will immediately hit them with nuclear (weapons)."
The video was published on the North's propaganda website DPRK Today on Saturday and shows images from the Korean War, the capture of US spy ship Pueblo in 1968 and the first crisis over North Korea's nuclear programme in the early 1990s.
Pyongyang has upped the rhetorical ante in recent weeks, with near daily threats of nuclear and conventional strikes against the South and the US mainland in response to large-scale South-US war games.
The threats have turned increasingly personal, and North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un on Friday watched a live-fire long-range artillery drill simulating a strike on the official residence of his South Korean counterpart.
Tensions between the two Koreas been on the rise since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, and a satellite rocket launch a month later that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.
North Korea has been pushing to acquire submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) capability, which would take its nuclear strike threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and the potential to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack.
The North has conducted a number of what it says were successful tests of a SLBM. But experts have questioned the veracity of those tests, suggesting Pyongyang had gone little further than a "pop-up" test from a submerged platform.
Pyongyang Ready for Pre-emptive Nuclear Strike:
North's Top Diplomat Yonhap News
MOSCOW (March 28, 2016) -- North Korea is ready to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike in response to what it claims is provocation by South Korea and the US, Pyongyang's top diplomat said Monday.
"In response to the US frenzied hysteria for unleashing a nuclear war, we have fully transferred our army from the form of military response to the form of delivering a pre-emptive strike and we state resolutely about the readiness to deliver a pre-emptive nuclear strike," North Korea's Foreign Minister Lee Su-yong said. "In a word, the Korean peninsula faces the dilemma: a thermonuclear war or peace," he said.
North Korea has recently stepped up its military ante apparently to show off the progress it has made in upgrading its nuclear and missile capabilities as well as in advancing the striking power of its multiple rocket launchers and other long-range artillery systems.
N. Korea Threatens to Take Military Action
Unless S. Korea Apologizes to 'Dear Leader' Korea Times
(March 28, 2016) -- North Korea's military threatened Saturday that it will take "merciless" action against South Korea unless Seoul offers an apology for its alleged move to hurt the dignity of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
North Korea also demanded South Korea publicly execute those who plotted a plan to strike at the North Korean leadership, claiming that it is the last opportunity for Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea's presidential office, to avoid retaliatory fire.
Pyongyang has accused South Korea of staging a drill on Monday of what it claims was a plan to destroy Kim's office with 16 fighter bombers carrying guided air-to-surface missiles. South Korea has confirmed its Air Force conducted a large-scale air raid drill against a simulated key North Korean facility, though it did not give details. [Emphasis added.]
If South Korea does "not respond to the ultimatum of the KPA, the long-range artillery force of the KPA large combined unit on the front will move over to merciless military action," the North's long-range artillery force said in an English-language ultimatum, referring to the North Korean military's official name.
The ultimatum carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency also warned that the South Korean presidential office and other key sites will "turn into ashes in a moment" if its military simply pushes buttons.
South Korea's military urged North Korea to stop its vulgar rhetoric and warned that the North's provocations will lead to its destruction. The South's military also said it is fully ready to cope with any possible provocations, though North Korea showed no signs of unusual military movements.
President Park Geun-hye has warned North Korea that its provocations will eventually lead to the regime's self-destruction as she called on South Korea to increase vigilance across the country.
The ultimatum is the latest statement of a growing amount of bellicose rhetoric aimed at South Korea amid heightened tensions over ongoing military drills between South Korea and the United States. The North claims the annual military drills are a rehearsal for a nuclear war against it.
The ultimatum described Kim as "the sun in the sky," claiming that Kim represents the life and destiny of all Koreans and their rosy future. The North has made other similar threats to destroy South Korea's presidential office in recent years, although no actual attack has occurred. North Korea Threatens Attack Unless South Korea Apologizes for "Treason" Eric Talmadge/ Associated Press
(March 26, 2016) -- North Korea warned Saturday that its military is ready to attack Seoul's presidential palace unless South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes for "treason" and publicly executes officials responsible for what Pyongyang says are plans to attack its leadership.
The warning, issued by state media in the name of a unit of the Korean People's Army, is the latest in a barrage of threats against Washington and Seoul over joint military drills now underway that the North sees as a dress rehearsal for invasion. It also came shortly after a North Korean propaganda outlet posted a video depicting a nuclear attack on Washington, D.C.
The joint military exercises are held annually, but tensions are particularly high this year because the drills are bigger than ever and come on the heels of North Korea's recent nuclear test and rocket launch. Further angering Pyongyang have been reports in South Korean media that this year's exercises include simulated training for a "decapitation strike" targeting North Korea's top leaders. [Emphasis added.]
The warning Saturday said the South Korean presidential palace is within striking range of the North's artillery units, and that if an order to attack is made it is "just a click away."
North Korea is believed to have artillery capable of striking Seoul with little or no warning and causing severe damage and casualties in the city of 10 million. A strike on Seoul, however, is highly unlikely, and Pyongyang has previously issued similar threats without following through.
There were few signs Saturday of the heightened tensions in Pyongyang, where residents went about their daily routines as usual. Earlier on Saturday, the North Korean propaganda website DPRK Today posted a video depicting a nuclear attack on Washington.
The four-minute video, titled "Last Chance," showed a digitally created scene of a missile fired from a submerged vessel in the sea soaring through the clouds, darting back to Earth, and crashing into the streets near Washington's Lincoln Memorial before the explosion wipes out the city.
"Choose, United States. Whether the country called United States continues to exist in this planet depends on your choice," read a message that flashed on the screen to the background of a burning US Capitol building and American flag.
The video also warned that the North would "not hesitate" to attack the United States with its nuclear weapons if "American imperialists even make the slightest move against us." A similar video got a great deal of attention in 2013, when North Korea also conducted a nuclear test and satellite launch.
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