North Korea threatens U.S. military bases in Hawaii, Guam

North Korea warned on Tuesday that it had placed its rocket and long-range artillery units on "highest alert" and is prepared to strike South Korea and U.S. military bases in Guam and Hawaii.

The Pentagon said that it is taking the threat "very seriously," reports.

North Korea warned that U.S. facilities will be "reduced to ashes and flames the moment the first attack is unleashed," according to

Numerous threats have poured out of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un since sanctions were imposed by the U.N. Security Council this month in response to a Feb. 12 nuclear test by North Korea.

"North Korea's bellicose rhetoric and threats follow a pattern designed to raise tensions and intimidate others," Patrick Ventrell, a State Department spokesman, said, reports. "[North Korea] will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia. The U.S. is fully capable of defending itself and our allies against a [North Korean] attack."

U.S. and South Korean forces are currently carrying out joint military exercises in the region.

"From this moment the supreme command will put on the highest alert all the field artillery units, including strategic rocket units and long-range artillery units which are assigned to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops in the U.S. mainland and on Hawaii and Guam and other operational zone in the Pacific as well as all the enemy targets in South Korea and its vicinity," North Korea's military said in a statement reported by the state's official Korean Central News Agency, according to