North Korea Moves Missile to Coast as US Seeks to Tone Down Rhetoric

North Korea moved a missile with “considerable range” to its east coast, South Korea’s Defence minister announced today.

North Korea’s growing threats to strike the United States with nuclear weapons are rhetorical bluster, as the North just has no means to make good on them, Western officials and security experts say. Photo: NIKOLAOS CHATZIS/Flickr

South Korea’s defense chief reported today that North Korea had moved to its east coast a missile with a “considerable” range, but this kind of weapon would not reach the United States.

“North Korea does not have the capability to carry out its threat to attack US bases in Hawaii, the US mainland or Guam using long-range missiles,” said James Hardy of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The disclosure came as the North Korea’s military warned that it was ready to strike American with “cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means.”

The South Korean Defence minister added that there was no sign of their neighbour mobilising troops in preparation for an arrack. He described the recent threats as “rhetorical”, adding: “I believe the odds of a full-scale provocation are small.”

Brian Myers, a professor at Dongseo university in South Korea who monitors the North’s propaganda, revealed that he expected a small attack before the end of the year.

“They cannot let the rhetoric drop without coming through on some target,” he said. “Kim Jong-un came out on a limb three weeks ago and instead of walking back, he is going forward and forward.”

North Korean propaganda has taught the public that military goals and economic goals are intertwined, The Telegraph writes.

“The man in the street that gets interviewed for the television news usually says he is angry with the United States and South Korea for not letting him work more,” said Prof Myers.

“We should stop thinking that North Korea makes these threats because it is afraid,” he added. “In fact that is the direct opposite. They say they are angry because their dignity has been offended. There is a genuine sense of confidence that you only feel when you go into the country. They really believe that although they might lack in some of the technical areas they have the will to fight. ”

“One of their most common slogans is ’We don’t speak empty words’. They do not think it will get that far, of course […] History indicates that South Korea is likely to blink first”.

North Korea has been issuing a series of threats in recent weeks, even revealing its targets such as the American military installations in the Pacific islands of Hawaii and Guam, and the United States mainland on the whole.

In its latest threat on Thursday, the country did not name targets but said its military was authorized to “take powerful, practical military counteractions” against the threats from B-2 bombers from the United States, B-52 bombers from Guam and F-22 jet fighters from American bases in Japan that have recently run missions over the Korean Peninsula during joint military exercises with South Korea.

“The moment of explosion is approaching fast,” the general staff of the North Korean People’s Army said in a statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. “The U.S. had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation.”

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