US officials: North Korea says it will not be the first country to launch missile from US soil
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NUCLEAR: A new military threat from North Korea could soon be on the horizon.
North Korea on Thursday threatened to launch a ballistic missile from its soil, after a US official told CNN the country was ready to conduct a pre-emptive strike.
The threat comes as tensions between the two Koreas remain high following the death of Otto Warmbier in a US prison, who was imprisoned on suspicion of committing crimes against the country.
A White House official told ABC News that the US is working with allies to prepare for a preemptive strike against North Korea, if needed.
“We’ve had conversations with our allies, we’ve had discussions with our partners, and we have been in contact with North Korea in the last couple of days,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“The president is fully briefed on our military options.
We are working to build the capacity of our allies and partners to take out North Korea’s nuclear weapons.”
Sanders did not provide details on the threat, but a report from the Wall Street Journal suggested the North Koreans had developed an advanced ICBM that could carry a nuclear warhead, and would be capable of hitting the continental United States.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would not hesitate to “hit any one of the U.S. mainland with an intercontinental ballistic missile” if they fired one, according to a state media report, which also said the country has been conducting tests to perfect a nuclear weapon.
“If our nation and the world are threatened, the world will be threatened,” Kim said, according the report.
Kim said the United States has made it clear that it will never let the U,S.
S Enterprise-42 or the U-2 spy plane pass through the country and “is prepared to strike with any weapon of war,” according to the report by KCNA, the state news agency.
Kim was asked if he believed the U.-2 had been spying on North Korea and the North’s nuclear program.
“Of course not,” he said.
“We have made it very clear that our nation has never cooperated with the United Kingdom and that the United State never cooperates with the UBS or any other spy agency.”
North Korea’s state news service on Thursday quoted Kim as saying the U2 spy planes have been flying over the North and the USS is conducting its own “provocation operations,” which are conducted to ensure the Ulsan-2 missile test did not occur.
“It’s a provocative action, so the ULS and USS have not been able to launch any missile from our territory,” Kim was quoted as saying.
“Our nuclear weapons are capable of destroying any land and any sea and any place on earth, including the Urumqi area in South Korea.”
The report did not specify what type of missiles were being tested.
Kim did not say if he planned to conduct an inter-continental ballistic test, but did tell reporters the country is working to perfect the capability to hit any one or any area on earth.
“I will not hesitate if I need to, even if it means hitting any one one of our people and their families in any place anywhere in the world,” Kim told reporters, according a KCNA report.
“There is no more danger of the DPRK using nuclear weapons to hit the U U.s.S.’s territory than of a nuclear strike against the Ural Mountains.”
Kim also said North Korea is considering conducting a fifth nuclear test.
“As for nuclear weapons, the DPRK is not interested in any further development of nuclear weapons,” Kim added.
NUCLEAR: A new military threat from North Korea could soon be on the horizon.North Korea on Thursday threatened to launch…