As tensions heat up on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is threatening to launch a nuclear attack on the United States should the U.S. fire a “single bullet.”
The threat comes as the White House is considering sweeping sanctions and possible military action over the latest North Korean rocket test.
On Sunday, North Korea tested a powerful new rocket engine which experts believe could be used to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the west coast of the United States.
Korean Central News Agency said the test was successful and marked an event of “historic significance.” KCNA said the test took place at the same facility where Kim had been launching rockets to put satellites into orbit, which Western officials claim were efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un hailed the rocket launch as “a historic day which can be called ‘March 18 revolution’ “. He said the whole world would “soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries.” KCNA reported.
“This engine produces enough thrust for the first stage, possibly even the second stage, of a large ICBM,” Michael Elleman, the senior fellow for Missile Defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies told CNN.
In recent days, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has signaled a significant change in policy in the government’s approach to nuclear threats from North Korea under President Trump. Tillerson said: “all options are on the table” during a visit to China.
After a visit to the DMZ on the border with North Korea, he said: “Let me be very clear: The policy of strategic patience has ended.”
“We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures. All options are on the table.”
After Tillerson’s comments, North Korea’s foreign minister said the country is ready and prepared to go to war with the U.S.
“The U.S. should face up to the situation of the world with its eyes wide open. The DPRK has the will and capability to fully respond to any war the U.S. would like to ignite,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
“If the businessmen-turned-U.S.-authorities thought that they would frighten the DPRK, they would soon know that their method would not work on the latter,” the spokesman continued. “The world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won by the DPRK in the recent ground jet test of Korean-style high-thrust engine will carry.”
Whether or not the North Koreans actually possess the ability to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. is still speculation, but what’s certain is the North Korean leader sure seems crazy enough to try. According to multiple sources, the Pentagon is taking the threat so seriously that they have dispatched Seal Team 6 and other military assets to the region.