Thursday, September 22, 2016

North Korea blames U.S. for nuclear weapons development

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Sept. 20, 2016 at 11:17 AM

 SEOUL, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- North Korea blamed both the Bush and Obama administrations Tuesday for "pushing" Pyongyang toward nuclear weapons development while claiming it now has the capability of striking U.S. territory.
In a statement that ran in the Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, North Korea stated its fifth nuclear test marks the "peak" of its nuclear capability.
"Early this year our republic successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb then spontaneously and in succession took steps to strengthen its nuclear strike capability...this [most recent] test of a nuclear warhead marks the peak of [our] nuclear warhead power," Pyongyang stated.
Experts have said the Jan. 6 explosion was not powerful enough to be a hydrogen bomb.
North Korea also said its "revolutionary armed forces" can use "ballistic missiles mounted with nuclear warheads" to hit the nuclear aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered submarines of the "U.S. imperialists" and turn them into "useless shards."
"The U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Guam, the Pacific military bases of the U.S. imperialist invaders, are all within our striking distance," read the statement.
Experts have said North Korea does not yet have the capability to mount a nuclear bomb on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, but may have the capability by 2020.
North Korea also jeered "U.S. calculations" of Pyongyang's military and the "will of our people."
"It is a foolish dog's dream to think U.S. military pressure and containment by sanctions could put an end to our nuclear armament," Pyongyang stated.
The article also took aim at the "poorly played" George W. Bush administration and the "arrogant impudence" of the Barack Obama administration for "pushing" the country to becoming a nuclear weapons state and acquiring a hydrogen bomb.
The United States has stepped up joint exercises with South Korea since North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9.
U.S. military personnel said Tuesday there is a plan to deploy a B-52 strategic bomber in South Korea sometime this week, News 1 reported.
The U.S. Air Force also deployed a B-52, capable of delivering nuclear weapons, to the peninsula a few days after North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January.

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