North Korea accused the United States on Thursday of planning a nuclear attack in a report which came as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Seoul for talks on defusing Pyongyang’s military threat.
It was the latest in increasingly angry rhetoric by the reclusive state, which earlier in the day said it was ready for war with South Korea.
“The U.S. bellicose quarters are pushing ahead with the moves for rounding off the preparations … in a bid to make a pre-emptive nuclear strike,” the North’s official media said.
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“The U.S. is talking about what it called ‘dialogue’ and ‘peace’ on the Korean peninsula but, in actuality, seeking to escalate the military confrontation,” the KCNA news agency quoted a commentary in the state’s communist party newspaper as saying.
The prickly North, which has repeatedly threatened in recent weeks to reduce the South to ashes, is thought to be readying its longest-range missile — which could reach U.S. territory — for launch in what analysts say is a bid to grab the new U.S. administration’s attention and put pressure on Seoul.