North repeats threats on Washington and Seoul

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North repeats threats on Washington and Seoul

North Korea threatened it will strike Seoul’s presidential office unless President Park Geun-hye apologizes for “treason,” the North’s state-media reported on Saturday shortly after it released a video depicting a nuclear strike on Washington.

The North has recently stepped up its rhetoric against Seoul and Washington, which are conducting their largest joint military drills ever in response to the Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and long-range missile tests, threatening the two allies with its nuclear and missile capabilities.

The long-range artillery force of the North’s Korean People’s Army issued Saturday an “ultimatum” to Park and her followers to publicly offer an apology for alleged efforts to harm the “utmost dignity,” referring North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and execute those who practiced a precision strike drill on North Korean leaders during the ongoing joint exercises between Seoul and Washington.

“If the peerless traitor Park Geun-hye and her lot do not respond to the ultimatum of the Korean People’s Army, our long-range artillery force will take merciless military action,” the Army’s Long-Range Artillery Force of the Large Combined Unit said in a statement carried by the North’s Korean Central News Agency, without elaborating the deadline of the ultimatum.

The North also reiterated that the Blue House is within firing range of its military units, adding that if Pyongyang simply pushes a button the presidential office and other ruling sites will “turn into ashes in a moment.”

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff urged North Korea on Saturday to stop making incendiary remarks and warned that such provocation will only lead to the North’s destruction.

Earlier on Saturday, the North’s propaganda website, DPRK Today, posted a four-minute video clip entitled “Last Chance” on its YouTube channel, showing a nuclear strike on Washington. The video showed a computer animated scene of what seems to be an intercontinental ballistic missile fired from a submerged vessel in the sea, crashing into the streets near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. It also shows images of Capitol Hill and the American flag burning.

North Korea, which was banned from developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions, has said it has capabilities to strike the U.S. mainland with ICBMs that can carry miniaturized nuclear warheads, but officials in Seoul and Washington doubt the claim.

BY KIM SO-HEE [kim.sohee0905@joongang.co.kr]
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