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N.K. warns U.S. military bases in S. Korea within striking range

2017/07/14 14:31

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SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea warned Friday that U.S. forces stationed in South Korea are within striking range even if a key unit has moved to a new base located south of Seoul.

The U.S. 8th Army on Tuesday opened its new headquarters at the Camp Humphreys garrison in Pyeongtaek, a port city some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, after a decade of delay in the base relocation. It marked the end of the army's 64-year presence at the Yongsan base in central Seoul.

North Korea's military stationed at the truce village of Panmunjom said that regardless of the location, they cannot avoid North Korea's ruthless firing.

"The larger the U.S. military base is, the more effectively our military hits targets," a military spokesman was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

This photo taken on June 2, 2017, shows North Korean soldiers at the truce village of Panmunjom. (Yonhap) This photo taken on June 2, 2017, shows North Korean soldiers at the truce village of Panmunjom. (Yonhap)

It marked the first time that North Korea's military issued a statement since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May.

The Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People's Army (KPA) handles issues related to the inter-Korean armistice which ended armed conflict in the 1950-53 Korean War.

"If (the leadership) issues an order, our military will destroy the U.S. imperialists with salvos of firings," the spokesman said. "If the U.S. sticks to reckless military confrontation despite our warning, it cannot avoid a miserable end."

   About 28,500 American soldiers are stationed in South Korea as a legacy of the Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

North Korea has long denounced joint annual military drills between Seoul and Washington as war rehearsal for a northern invasion despite the allies' assurances that they are defensive in nature.