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NUCLEAR WAR!: N.Korea ARTILLERY & strategic MISSILE forces on ALERT to ATTACK US targets! [WW3]

North Korea has elevated its artillery and strategic missile forces to "combat-ready posture" and said it is prepared to strike targets in South Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii and the continental US. The US has flown two B-2 stealth bombers over South Korea as part of a military exercise. The US said it demonstrated its forces could conduct "long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will".

The move follows strong rhetoric from Pyongyang and comes a day after it cut a military hotline with the South. The hotline had been used mainly to facilitate cross-border travel at a joint industrial complex, which was said to be operating normally.

More than 160 South Korean commuters went through border control on Thursday morning to start work at the Kaesong complex, after being approved for entry by North Korea, officials said.North Korean authorities had used a civilian phone line to arrange the crossing, they added.

The joint project is a source of badly-needed hard currency for the North. Around 120 South Korean firms operate at Kaesong industrial park, employing an estimated 50,000 North Korean workers.

North Korea 'burning with hatred' for US after stealth bomber missions

North Korea claimed its people were "burning with hatred" for the US after Washington confirmed it had flown B-2 stealth bomber "deterrence" missions over South Korea.

Amid tensions over the North's third nuclear test last month and ensuing United Nations sanctions, North Korea had already shut down Red Cross hot lines with South Korea and a communication line with the American military command in South Korea. But the North's decision to cut off military hot lines with South Korea on Wednesday was taken more seriously in Seoul because the two Koreas have used those four telephone lines to control daily cross-border traffic of workers and cargo traveling to the North Korean border town of Kaesong.

North Korea has threatened to launch a nuclear attack on US bases in Japan and Guam after Washington used B-52 bombers in a joint military drill with the South.

The threat came one day after Pyongyang condemned the use of the nuclear-capable bombers in the drills as "unpardonable provocation".

The aircraft are based at Andersen Air Force base in the Pacific island of Guam and flew over South Korea as part of annual joint exercises, while missile-carrying attack submarines can operate out of Japanese ports.

North Korea routinely threatens to annihilate South Korea, the United States, and Japan. After its recent successful long-range missile and nuclear tests, Pyongyang now claims it already has the capability to target U.S. bases in the Pacific and the American homeland with nuclear weapons.

As frightening as these warnings are, North Korea would more likely conduct another tactical-level attack to achieve its objectives rather than risk national suicide through a nuclear strike. Discerning bluster from actual North Korean intent is always difficult, but recent actions suggest greater potential for another attack—perhaps imminent—on South Korean military and civilian targets.

The danger of North Korean miscalculation has increased further with new North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emboldened by recent nuclear and missile test successes and the knowledge that Seoul and Washington have never struck back in any significant way after previous deadly attacks. But South Korea is now more likely to strike back after another North Korean assault.

Banging the War Drum

Menacing North Korean invective is a fact of life in South Korea. Pyongyang routinely threatens to turn Seoul into a "sea of fire" and obliterate its enemies. Indeed, countless threats are never carried out and are meant as much to bolster the North Korean domestic audience as well as intimidate its neighbors. Yet North Korea has also repeatedly attacked allied military and civilian targets, including attempting to assassinate the South Korean president, blowing up a civilian airliner, shooting down a U.S. Air Force plane, and seizing a U.S. Navy ship. Category News & Politics

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