Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/ WORLD -

In an es­ca­lat­ing war of words with the U. S., North Korea warned Thurs­day of a “su­per- mighty pre- emp­tive strike” that would re­duce Amer­i­can mil­i­tary forces in South Korea and the U. S. main­land “to ashes,” ac­cord­ing to The Rodong Sin­mun, of­fi­cial news­pa­per of North Korea’s Work­ers’ Party.

The re­port, car­ried by Reuters, also warned the U. S. and its al­lies “should not mess with us.”

The state­ment fol­lows North Korea’s week­end dis­play of mil­i­tary hard­ware in a pa­rade mark­ing the birthday of its founder Kim Il Sung, and two at­tempted mis­sile tests, one of which failed.

The U. S. has stepped up its warn­ings to North Korea over its mis­sile pro­gram and nu­clear weapons tests. Vice Pres­i­dent Pence, on a tour of the re­gion, warned this week that “the era of strate­gic pa­tience is over” when it comes to U. S. pol­icy to­ward North Korea.

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