North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile launch Sunday once again raised concerns over the reclusive country’s nuclear capabilities. Despite being at the receiving end of tough United Nations sanctions, North Korea has continued to stoke tensions with the West and its southern neighbor with its missile launches and efforts to bolster its nuclear program.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to “deal with” North Korea and called it “a big, big problem,” but did not mention the ballistic missile the country test-fired over the weekend. Trump also did not outline any response the U.S. was planning to counter Pyongyang’s threats.
While both the nations have blamed each other for provocations, here is a list of threats Kim Jong Un has made to the U.S. over the years.
Attack on Los Angeles:
Most recently, a former North Korean diplomat who defected to South Korea said in an interview to the BBC’s “Victoria Derbyshire Show” that Kim Jong Un could “press the button” and launch a missile at the California city. When asked if Kim would carry out an attack against the U.S. knowing that the Pentagon would retaliate, Thae Yong-ho, North Korea’s former deputy ambassador in London, replied: “Yes.”
“He knows that if he loses the power then it is his last day so he may do anything, even to attack Los Angeles, because once people know that in any way you will be killed, then you will do anything. That is the human being’s normal reaction,” he added.
North Korea will bring misery to America:
In January, the reclusive country threatened to “pour further misery” on the U.S. after Trump announced that Washington will make a “state of the art” missile defense system to counter attacks from Pyongyang.
“The U.S. will face a position more miserable than that in the Pueblo case if it forgets that lesson and frantically pursues new ways to provoke war against the north,” North Korea’s Central TV station said at the time, referring to the capture of an American intelligence ship, the USS Pueblo, during the Cold War.
Missile that can reach U.S mainland:
Earlier in January, Kim Jong Un announced that its military is capable of test-launching an inter-continental ballistic missile — that could reach the U.S. mainland — at any time and from any location.
Kim Jong Un’s New Year speech threat:
In his New Year address, North Korean leader said Pyongyang was in the final stages of preparing to test an ICBM. “Research and development of the cutting-edge tech weapons are actively progressing and strengthening our defense capabilities, including last stage preparation of tests for Intercontinental Ballistic rocket launch have been continuously succeeding,” Kim said in his New Year’s remarks.
Pyongyang threat to retaliate to U.S.-South Korea drills:
Kim said during his New Year’s speech that North Korea will ramp up preparations for potential nuclear strikes against Seoul and Washington if the two fail to abandon their joint military exercises.
US-South Korea’s ‘madcap mid-winter’ drills:
North Korea warned of retaliation over South Korea’s and U.S. Marines’ military exercises on the ski slopes of Pyeongchang that began on Jan.15 and ended on Feb.3. Pyongyang reportedly termed the exercises, in which over 300 Marines took place, “madcap mid-winter” drills.
Long-range nuclear warheads threat:
A South Korean government official in December said that North Korea has long-range nuclear warheads which can reach the U.S. Pyongyang’s KN-08 missile was set to have a range of more than 7,500 miles.
Retaliation over U.S. hostile acts:
North Korea warned the U.S. in November 2016, urging it to end its “ever-worsening hostile moves and increasing nuclear threat against” Pyongyang. North Korea’s foreign affairs ministry, in a memorandum, listed what it called “the criminal acts of the U.S.”
“The anachronistic hostile policy and nuclear threat that the U.S. has enforced with unprecedented recklessness against the DPRK have only provoked its just and righteous countermeasures for self-defense,” the memorandum, as published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, read.
Joint naval drills by South Korea and the U.S.:
In October 2016, North Korea condemned the joint naval drills by Seoul and Washington saying that the exercises were an “advance preparation for mounting a preemptive attack.”
Threat to U.S. base in Guam:
In September 2016, North Korea threatened Seoul and a United States’ base in Guam with a nuclear attack. The “provocations have pushed the situation on the Korean peninsula to the uncontrollable and irreversible phase of the outbreak of nuclear war,” the statement said.