North Korean official threatens nuke attack on White House

A high ranking North Korean official has threatened to launch nuclear missiles targeting the White House and Pentagon.


A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military's General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

Hwang, who holds the rank of vice marshal in the Korean People's Army, said a recent series of South Korea-US military drills, one of which included the deployment of a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, had ramped up tensions.

"If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang said in his speech broadcast Monday on state television.

It is not the first time that North Korea's bellicose rhetoric has included threats of nuclear strikes on the continental United States and US bases in the Pacific.

But most experts believe it is still a long way from developing a viable intercontinental ballistic missile with the required range.

Should we just laugh this off as the rantings of a fool or do we take it seriously?

I daresay that the head of the military's political bureau doesn't go off half cocked in a formal speech and make a threat that wasn't approved at the highest levels of the North Korean government. The question isn't so much are they capable of launching a nuke now as it is should the US government be doing anything about it.

An improved version of the Taepo Dong II missile has been under development for a decade. With a range of 8,000 miles, it could hit most of the US. The current version of the Taep Dong II could hit parts of the West Coast. The bottom line is, anytime a nuclear power threatens a launch targeting the US, we can't afford not to take it seriously - regardless of the state of the North Korean nuclear and missile programs.

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