Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
DAVID GUTTENFELDER/AP/Press Association Images A North Korean vehicle carries a missile during a parade in Pyongyang in April of this year.
North Korea

North Korea says its rockets can hit the US, analysts say it's bluster

The secretive state’s latest public comment came in response to the announcement of a new deal between South Korea and the US to triple the range of its missiles.

NORTH KOREA HAS said it possessed rockets capable of striking the US mainland, as it slammed a new US-South Korean deal to extend the range of the South’s missile systems as a provocation for war.

The threat, which analysts largely dismissed as bluster, came after South Korea announced an agreement with the United States to almost triple the range of its missiles to 800 kilometres (500 miles) to cover the whole of North Korea.

A spokesman for the North’s National Defense Commission said the deal was “another conspiracy of the master and the stooge to push the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the extreme… and ignite a war.”

In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), he said the North’s military, including “strategic rocket forces”, had a “scope of strike” that not only covered US and South Korean bases in South Korea, “but also Japan, Guam and the US mainland”.

South Korean analysts said the claim was likely to be empty rhetoric, suggesting it was aimed more at boosting military morale under new leader Kim Jong-Un.

“There is no evidence that North Korea has succeeded in tests of a missile with a range long enough to hit the US mainland,” said Yun Duk-Min, a professor at Korea National Diplomatic Academy.

North Korea is known to have an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) in development — the Taepodong-2 — but it has never been tested successfully.

In April, North Korea failed with a much-hyped rocket launch that Pyongyang said was aimed at placing a satellite in orbit. The United States and United Nations insisted it was a disguised ballistic missile test using a three-stage variant of the Taepodong-2.

Days after the failed launch, North Korea raised eyebrows by displaying what appeared to be a new set of ICBMs at a military parade to mark the 100th birthday of the North’s late founder Kim Il-Sung.

But Western military analysts and UN sanctions experts concluded that the display models were simply mock-ups.

GALLERY: South Korea prepares for Armed Forces Day 2012

Read: North Korean parliament holds rare second session

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.