North Korea threatens U.S. in Pacific

North Korea threatened to launch attacks against U.S. military bases in Japan and Guam in retaliation for recent B-52 bomber exercises conducted over the Korean Peninsula.

The threat came amid increasingly heightened tensions between the North and South Korea and its major ally, the United States. In mid-February, Pyongyang held an underground nuclear weapons test that sparked a subsequent round of United Nations economic sanctions, according to

"The U.S. should not forget that the Anderson Air Force Base on Guam, where B-52s take off, and naval bases in Japan proper and Okinawa, where nuclear-powered submarines are launched, are within the striking range of the DPRK's precision strike means," a spokesman for the North Korean military said, reports.

State-run radio stations carried air raid warnings throughout North Korea for about an hour. Air-raid drills were more commonplace in North Korea before the 1990s as a means of instilling a permanent sense of crisis and solidarity among the population.

While B-52s from Guam loaded with nuclear weapons have previously flown over South Korea during military exercises, the Pentagon recently took the unusual step of publicly announcing the nature of its missions and reaffirming U.S. defensive commitments to the South, according to