PAJU, South Korea (AP) -- More belligerence from North Korea. Its border authorities have refused to allow entry to South Koreans who manage jointly run factories. It warned early Thursday that its military has been cleared to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons. Despite the rhetoric, analysts say an attack is unlikely because its leaders know an attack on the U.S. would be suicidal.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The North Korean army is warning Washington that its military has been cleared to wage an attack using "smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear" weapons.
The threat from the unnamed army spokesman early Thursday is latest in a series of escalating warnings from North Korea, which has railed for weeks against joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises taking place in South Korea and has expressed anger over tightened sanctions for a February nuclear test.
The spokesman said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency that troops have been authorized to counter U.S. aggression with "powerful practical military counteractions."
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says Washington is doing all it can to defuse tension with North Korea. The Pentagon is deploying a missile defense system to the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam to strengthen regional protection against a possible attack.