North Korea Threatens a Pre-Emptive Strike On U.S. Troops, and Reactivates Its Nuclear Reactor

February 07, 2003

North Korea is warning that it will launch a preemptive attack on U.S. troops if the Bush Administrations increases its military presence in the Pacific region.

North Korea also warned that any US strike against its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon would trigger a "full scale war".

The threats come a day after North Korea announced it has reactivated its nuclear power reactor. North Korea says the reactor will be used for peaceful purposes including electricity production but the US and nuclear analysts say the reactor could help mass produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. The site had been mothballed since 1994 as part of a non-proliferation deal with Washington.

The preemptive warning comes after the US threatened to send more aircraft carriers, bombers and troops to the Pacific Ocean as a deterrent against North Korea.


  • Bruce Cumings, professor of History at the University of Chicago and author of ??Korea’s Place in the Sun: a Modern History