From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/29/us-condemns-north-korea-threats
White House says US will not be intimidated by ‘bellicose rhetoric’ and is fully capable of defending itself and its allies
The White House warned North Korea on Friday that the rapidly escalating military confrontation would lead to further isolation, as the Pentagon declared that the US was fully capable of defending itself and its allies against a missile attack.
After North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that rockets were ready to be fired at American bases in the Pacific – a response to the US flying two nuclear-capable B2 stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula this week – the White House blamed Pyongyang for the increased tensions.
“The bellicose rhetoric emanating from North Korea only deepens that nation’s isolation. The United States remains committed to safeguarding our allies in the region and our interests that are located there,” deputy press spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters travelling with Barack Obama on Air Force One to Miami.
Asked if the joint US-South Korean military exercises and the use of the stealth bombers had fuelled the escalation, Earnest replied: “It’s clear that the escalation is taking place from the North Koreans based on their rhetoric and on their actions.”
The Pentagon said on Friday that the US would not be intimidated, and was ready to defend both its bases and its allies in the region. Lt Col Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the US would not be intimidated. “The United States is fully capable of defending itself and our allies against a North Korean attack. We are firmly committed to the defence of South Korea and Japan,” she said.
Secretary of state John Kerry will visit the region in a week or so for meetings with Japan, China and South Korea, the State Department said.
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