Kim Jong Un raised the level of rhetoric against the United States this weekend, promising a “merciless” nuclear strike against the United States, while at the same time blaming American President Donald Trump for inflaming the situation.
The new threats come as both U.S. and South Korean military are set to stage a series of joint exercises in the region. While the American military characterizes the exercises as routine activity between allies, it is also meant to send a clear message to Kim Jong Un and Pyongyang.
Kim Jon Un’s saber-rattling was largely dismissed during the Obama era, although Barack Obama himself did state last year that the United States could “obviously destroy North Korea” with its nuclear arsenal.
As President Trump took office, however, tensions with North Korea escalated when the country showed major advancements in intercontinental ballistic missile technology, far ahead of what they had achieved previously. While North Korea claims it can now strike the U.S. continental heartland, as well as Washington, D.C., many believe that is a lie. However, U.S. intelligence reports state North Korea is able to strike Japan or even the American protectorate of Guam, and is capable of placing a miniaturized nuclear warhead inside of a missile.
According to a report on North Korean state media, Kim Jong-Un said he wanted to “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees,” before deciding to launch a nuclear attack. They claim no target anywhere in the U.S. can “dodge the merciless strike” they threatened.
Hannah Parry of The Daily Mail provides more on the new threats by North Korea.