North Korea: US 'Well Within' Nuclear Range

Pyongyang propaganda also warns Korean peninsula near 'explosion'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2013 6:37 AM CST
North Korea: US 'Well Within' Nuclear Range
In this Feb. 16, 2013 image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, center left, arrive at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video)

Pyongyang has a message for the US: North Korea has become a "fully-independent rocket and nuclear weapons state," according to an official website—and America "should be acutely aware that the US mainland is now well within the range of our strategic rockets and nuclear weapons." How credible is the warning? Experts say it could be awhile before the North actually has an intercontinental ballistic missile ready, AFP notes. But debris from December's rocket launch suggested its possible range included the US West Coast, according to South Korea.

Closer to home, Pyongyang is fuming over planned US-South Korea military drills. The Korean peninsula is "an inch away from explosion," official news warns. "The US is to blame for the situation on the Korean peninsula, which is inching close to an unpredictable phase now," said Pyongyang's UN ambassador, according to Reuters. Washington is pushing a "hostile policy" against the North via the UN Security Council, the official said. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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