- North Korea's official news agency on Tuesday warned
that there is "no guarantee for the safety of the U.S. mainland when
the U.S. ignites a war against the north in the Korean peninsula."
- The threat came on the same day North Korea acknowledged
for the first time that it is preparing to test a missile.
- U.S. military officials now believe that North Korea
could, within the next few weeks, test a Taepodong 2 missile -- a powerful
new rocket with a range of 3,800 to 6,000 miles that would put Alaska or
Hawaii within its reach.
- "Whether we test-fire a satellite or a missile is
a legitimate, independent right to be exercised by a sovereign state,"
the Korean Central News Agency stated.
- The United States has threatened to use "all available
means" if North Korea goes ahead with a Taepodong 2 test.
- Wednesday's NEW YORK TIMES, which leads with a N. Korea
story, runs quotes predicting that if a Korean missile should fall in Japanese
territory, and particularly cause casualties or some destruction, Japan,
with the help of the U.S., could then "destroy North Korean missile
- In the war of words, the Korean Central News Agency warns:
"A war on the Korean peninsula is neither a war like a military drill
of unilateral offensive as in Yugoslavia and Iraq nor a dispute like a
simple conflict. A war here is a large thermo-nuclear war in which more
than a thousand nuclear bombs with explosive power of 13,000 kilotons deployed
in South Korea will go off and a world war which will soon escalate beyond
the Korean peninsula."