This week, Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s official newspaper of the North’s Ruling Workers’ Party, warned the United States that they were capable of launching a “super-mighty preemptive strike” against the U.S. and South Korea. The threat came just after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that the U.S. was “reviewing all the status of North Korea,” including whether they should be considered a state sponsor of terrorism and how to put more pressure on the regime.
“In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes,” the newspaper said, as quoted by Reuters.
Retired Colonel Rob Maness, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was the Vice Commander of the Air Force’s largest airborne intelligence wing, told American Military News that such a threat is one that the U.S. should take seriously.
“‘Super-mighty’ could mean a mass chemical attack on Seoul or missiles fired at Northwest USA so from their perspective we must take it seriously,” Maness told American Military News. “Our defensive capabilities are very strong in the area but I wouldn’t be surprised if they went beyond rhetoric. Once the carrier battle group Carl Vinson arrives, that presents a uniquely American target for them but they would be unwise to attack it.”
The latest instance was not the first time the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea’s official name) threatened to “reduce” the U.S. “to ashes.”
In March, DPRK’s foreign ministry released a statement threatening to reduce the U.S. and South Korea to ashes if “even a single bullet” was fired.
“The Korean People’s Army will reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people’s happiness in case the U.S. and the south Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK,” the statement read.
During a question and answer session with reporters on Wednesday, Secretary Tillerson said that the U.S. would be reviewing the status of North Korea.
“We’re reviewing all of the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as all the other ways in which we can bring pressure to bear on the regime in Pyongyang to reengage, but reengage with us on a different footing than the past talks have been held. So yes, we are evaluating all of those options,” Tillerson said.