Mass rally in North Korea against USA
N Korea stages mass rally, vows to hit US http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-29/n-korea-stages-mass-rally2c-vows-to-hit-us/4601790 includes videos Tens of thousands of North Korean soldiers and civilians have held a huge rally and march in Pyongyang, as the hermit nation ratchets up talk of striking the United States.
The rally on Friday in the capital’s giant Kim Il-Sung square was attended by soldiers, veterans, workers and students, all wearing military uniforms.
The North’s young leader, Kim Jong-Un, was not present.
State television said the rally took place to support a decision issued by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) supreme command on Tuesday – and ratified by Kim Jong-Un on Friday – to order missile units to prepare to strike the US mainland and military bases.
The North has no proven ability to strike the US mainland, but Kim Jong-Un has vowed to “settle accounts” after nuclear-capable US stealth B-2 bombers flew over South Korea for a drill on Thursday.
In the event of any “reckless” US provocation, North Korean forces should “mercilessly strike the US mainland … military bases in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea”, Kim Jong-Un was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The youthful leader argued that the stealth bomber flights went beyond a simple demonstration of force and amounted to a US “ultimatum that they will ignite a nuclear war at any cost”.
Friday’s rally was addressed by military and party officials who urged North Korean troops to launch a “merciless strike” on the US mainland and US military bases in the Pacific and South Korea.
“We are all ready to wipe them out for our final victory,” army officer Kwon Yong-Chol said.
Under giant portraits of Kim’s father Kim Jong-Il and grandfather Kim Il-Sung, the massed ranks of civilians and soldiers pledged their allegiance to the current leadership.
The bulk of the threats emanating from Pyongyang have been dismissed as bluster. North Korea has no confirmed missile capability to reach the US mainland – or indeed Guam or Hawaii in the Pacific.
But Washington has opted to match the threats with its own muscle-flexing.
“We will be prepared – we have to be prepared – to deal with any eventuality,” US secretary of defence Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.
“We must make clear that these provocations by the North are taken by us very seriously and we’ll respond to that.”
A South Korean military official quoted by Yonhap news agency said a “sharp increase” in personnel and vehicle movement had been detected at the North’s mid- and long-range missile sites.
The defence ministry declined to confirm the report, saying only that all strategic sites in the North were under intense South Korean and US surveillance.
The US’s stealth bomber flights, which followed training runs by B-52 bombers, were part of annual drills between the United States and South Korea, which North Korea each year denounces as rehearsals for war.
Pyongyang has been particularly vocal this time, angered by UN sanctions imposed after its long-range rocket launch in December and the third nuclear test it carried out last month.
China, North Korea’s sole major ally and biggest trading partner, appealed for calm and said “joint efforts” were needed from all parties to prevent the situation deteriorating further.
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