(BLOOMBERG) Kim Jong Un ordered North Korean rocket forces on standby to strike the U.S. and South Korea as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel denounced the totalitarian state’s “provocative actions and belligerent tone.”
Kim met with his military leaders today and ordered the rocket preparations after two U.S. B-2 stealth bombers flew over South Korea yesterday in a show of deterrence. Hagel condemned North Korea’s recent actions, which include cutting off a military hotline with South Korea, putting its artillery forces on high alert and threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
“It has ratcheted up the danger, and we have to understand that reality,” Hagel said at a press conference at the Pentagon yesterday. The U.S. and South Korea “are committed to a pathway to peace, and the North Koreans seem to be headed in a different direction here.”