- (Photo: Reuters/KRT via Reuters TV)
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, has warned that its rockets have the capability to reach the U.S. mainland, in the wake of what it sees as plans to invade its shores.
"We do not hide (the fact) that the revolutionary armed forces ... including the strategic rocket forces are keeping within the scope of strike not only the bases of the puppet forces and the U.S. imperialist aggression forces' bases in the inviolable land of Korea, but also Japan, Guam and the U.S. mainland," the KCNA said in a statement, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
North Korea was included as part of the "Axis of Evil," countries identified by former President George W. Bush as seeking weapons of mass destruction, and will likely be brought up in upcoming presidential debates between President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney. The two men recently clashed on foreign policy issues, with the former Massachusetts governor accusing Obama's administration of weakening American's leadership worldwide, therefore exposing it to more threats, while the Obama camp has tried to portray Romney as gaff-prone and unqualified to handle global conflicts.
North Korea's warning comes two days after the U.S. reached a deal with South Korea to extend the range of its ballistic missiles to more than twice its current limit to 497 miles, as a deterrent against North Korea.
Tensions between the two Koreas are high, and the two countries are still technically at war since their 1950-1953 war ended in a truce, as no peace treaty has ever been signed.
The reclusive regime has long warned America not to support its southern neighbor, and sees the latest missile deal as proof that the two countries are cooperating and planning to invade its shores.
The U.S. State Department have dismissed North Korea's claims, and has said that the communist country should be more concerned on addressing its domestic troubles, such as its impoverished population, rather than threatening America.
"Certainly rather than bragging about its missile capability, they ought to be feeding their own people," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding that North Korea's threats will only further distance it from the international community.
North Korea's claims of its technological capabilities came under strong scrutiny back in April, when new leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launching of a new rocket that was aimed at reaching orbit. The rocket failed after covering a little more than 60 miles and falling into the sea between South Korea and China.