(WASHINGTON) — The Pentagon does not find North Korea’s latest provocations amusing.
“The United States takes everything the North Korean government says and does seriously,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said at a briefing with reporters Tuesday.
Though Little expressed doubt that North Korea has the capability for missiles to hit Guam or Hawaii as the regime threatened Monday night, Little said the continued threats are destabilizing the region.
“It’s not just artillery,” he said. “North Korea has nuclear capabilities, so the full range of their arsenal is of concern to the United States and to our South Korean allies.”
Little outlined the ways that the Pentagon is ramping up its response to North Korea, including the decision earlier this month to place 14 additional ground-based interceptors at bases in Alaska, and California.
He also said that a new agreement between the U.S. military and South Korea’s military will put plans into action specifically to counter the threat from North Korea. The details of the agreement and plans are classified but Little said the agreement will improve “our combined readiness posture and allows immediate and decisive response to any North Korean provocation,” Little added.
“It’s very important that we do everything we can to stabilize the peninsula and not take rhetoric to where it shouldn’t go,” he said, “and that’s what the North Koreans are doing right now, and that should cease.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jim Acosta and Greg Clary, CNN
Jose Pagliery, CNN