Korea Vows to 'Answer' a U.S.
By THE ASSOCIATED
July 3, 2006
Korea, July 3 (AP) — North Korea vowed Monday
to respond with an "annihilating" nuclear strike if it is attacked pre-emptively by the United States.
The official North Korean press agency accused the United States of harassing the North with war exercises, a major arms buildup and increased
aerial espionage by basing new spy planes in South Korea.
"This is a grave military provocation," the dispatch said.
"The army and people" of North Korea "are now in full preparedness to answer a pre-emptive attack with a
relentless annihilating strike and a nuclear war with a mighty nuclear deterrent," it said.
The Bush administration responded sternly, saying that while it
had no intention of attacking, it was determined to protect the United States
if North Korea launched a long-range missile.
"Should North Korea
take the provocative action of launching a missile the U.S.
would respond appropriately, including by taking the necessary measures to protect ourselves," Julie Reside, a State Department
spokeswoman, said in a statement.
"We and our partners in the six-party process continue strongly
to urge North Korea not to launch a long-range
missile and, instead, to return to the six-party talks" over its nuclear program, the statement said.
North Korea has
recently come under heightened scrutiny after reports by the United States
and Japan that it has taken steps to prepare
for a test of a long-range missile.