N.Korea Military Threatens
US - Warns There Is No
Place To Hide
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ North Korea's military leaders accused the United States today of plotting a second war in the divided Korean Peninsula and said they were ready to fight back. The general staff of the North's Korean People's Army said Washington was heightening tension by demanding inspections and talks aimed at preventing the North from developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
``What they seek in this is to find a pretext to ignite the train of war,'' an unidentified general staff spokesman said in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. ``We neither want nor avoid a war. If a war is imposed, we will never miss the opportunity,'' he added. ``It must be clearly known that there is no limit to the strike of our People's Army and that on this planet there is no room for escaping the strike.'' The communist state's news media frequently publish saber-rattling rhetoric. But it was unusual for its military, the most hard-line organ of the North Korean regime, to make a public statement, Seoul officials said. Concerns that North Korea was developing long-range missiles capable of striking all of Japan and parts of the United States escalated when North Korea fired a rocket on Aug. 31. Believed to be a test of its Taepo Dong missile, the rocket flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.
Today's statement by North Korea comes two days before the United States and North Korea are set to resume talks about an underground North Korean site suspected of being used to produce nuclear weapons. In the talks, scheduled for Friday through next Tuesday in New York and Washington, the United States will demand unconditional inspections of the underground project. North Korea has asked Washington to pay $300 million for the right to inspect the site. The North's 1.1 million-strong military is the world's fifth largest. It forms the backbone of the North Korean government, with