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North Korea says it planned to bomb U.S. bases in Japan

Posted March. 08, 2017 07:03,   

Updated March. 08, 2017 07:11


North Korea admitted on Tuesday that its launch of four missiles on Monday was a practice to hit U.S. bases in Japan. In separate phone talks with South Korea’s Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump said, "His administration is taking to enhance our ability to deter and defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles using the full range of United States military capabilities."

”The launch of ballistic missile was executed as a drill by North Korea’s Hwasong artillery unit in order to review the unit’s treatment of nuclear warhead and swift mission operation capabilities,” said North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. This is the first time that the North Korean media has ever delivered news about a training dealing with a nuclear warhead. “The missile launch drill was carried out by the Hwasong artillery unit, whose missions include hitting U.S. bases in Japan,” KCNA added.

Pyeongyang’s missile launch has been eval‎uated as the isolated regime’s response to counter the Trump administration’s ongoing review on deployment of strategic nuclear weapons in South Korea. North Korea raised the stakes by showcasing its nuclear prowess in assembly of nuclear warhead and fitting it on a missile.

After North Korea’s missile provocation, leaders of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan had a series of phone talks to reaffirm their commitment to stronger response. North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats pose a present and direct danger to South Korea and the U.S.," Hwang told Trump at a 20-minute phone talk started from 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. "South Korea and the U.S. must deepen their alliance, strengthen deterrence against North Korea and beef up defense posture in order to make North Korea give up its goal." Trump highlighted his pledged to support South Korea “100 percent.”

Trump separately talked with Hwang and Abe on the phone. According to the White House, the three leaders agreed "to continue close bilateral and trilateral cooperation to demonstrate to North Korea that there are very dire consequences for its provocative and threatening actions."

Kyung-Im Woo woohaha@donga.com · Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com