SEOUL: 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 mili–tary’s General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang on Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950 to 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 on 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.
The North has conducted three nuclear tests, but is not thought to have mastered the miniaturization techniques necessary for mounting a warhead on a missile.