Pyongyang threatens to fire long-range artillery

Pyongyang, March 27 (IANS) North Korea on Saturday threatened to fire long-range artillery at Seoul unless South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes and punishes those who planned striking Pyongyang leadership.

Pyongyang issued the warning in an ultimatum sent to the Park administration by the artillery force of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), according to the official KCNA news agency.

The ultimatum urged Park to offer “an official apology” to all Korean people for “dare attempts to slander and do harm to the sun of Songun,” which refers to North Korea’s top leader, Kim Jong Un.

It also asked Park and her administration to punish those who designed the operation for striking Pyongyang leadership and “finish them without mercy.”

The military threatened in the ultimatum that if the Park administration did not respond to the warning, the artillery force would “move over to merciless military action.”

South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae and other major government buildings are within the firing range of the KPA’s long-range artillery, it added.

Pyongyang has in recent days repeatedly threatened to launch strikes at Cheong Wa Dae and other government offices in Seoul with artillery and rockets as tensions continue to escalate on the Korean Peninsula.

On March 7, South Korea and the United States began joint annual war games “Key Resolve” and “Foal Eagle,” which Pyongyang claimed were rehearsals for northward invasion.

The drills included a “beheading operation” that took North Korea leadership as a hypothetical target.

In response, Pyongyang stepped up missile and rocket launches as well as artillery firing exercises.

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