North Korea said Tuesday it has put its military on combat ready status, with "strategic" rocket units and long-range artillery units ordered to prepare for possible strikes against the U.S. mainland, Hawaii and Guam, the state media reported.
The order issued in a statement from the North Korea’s “supreme command" came after the U.S. bombers flew sorties threatening the North, Reuters reported.
"From this moment, the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army will be putting into combat duty posture No. 1 all field artillery units, including long-range artillery units and strategic rocket units, that will target all enemy objects in the U.S. invasionary bases on its mainland, Hawaii and Guam," the Korean Central News Agency said.
The threat is the latest in the series of war rhetoric from the North Korea against the U.S. and South Korea since the joint military drills by the allies and extension of economic sanctions by the U.N. Security Council. The North in response to the ongoing military drills had said it scrapped 1953 armistice that stopped the Korean War.
Pyongyang had earlier threatened to use nuclear warheads against the U.S. and South Korea. Although the North has the technology to hit targets in the South and neighboring regions with nuclear weapons, it apparently does not have the capability to strike the continental United States.
However, the U.S. military bases in the Pacific area are in the range of the North’s midrange missiles, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, South Korean authorities said they have not observed any unusual activities by the North’s military, but said they are closely monitoring the situation.
China Calls For Restraint
Responding to the escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula, China the biggest ally of the North called for restraint Tuesday. Speaking to the reporters at a daily briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the country hopes all sides on the Korean peninsula can exercise restraint.
His comments came after North Korea ordered its strategic rocket and long range artillery units to be combat ready to target the U.S. military bases on Guam, Hawaii and mainland America, Reuters reported.