North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri has warned of strikes against South Korea’s islands and advised residents to leave.
The Uriminzokkiri website, linked to the regime, mentioned targets including Yeonpyeong island, which was attacked by Northern forces in 2010.
Pyongyang has made a series of threats since its last nuclear test in February prompted the UN to tighten sanctions.
The US said on Friday it would refocus missile defences to its west coast to counter the North’s threats.
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said 14 more batteries would be placed in Alaska by 2017, adding to 30 already in place along the coast.
On February 12 North Korea tested a nuclear device, which is believed to be its third such test.
The UN Security Council condemned the move and tightened sanctions on the regime.
Before and after the UN announcement, Pyongyang promised reprisals for the sanctions, including a threat to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the US.
North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri has warned of strikes against South Korea’s islands and advised residents to leave
North Korean media has also been vitriolic against the South.The Uriminzokkiri website stated: “Even an accidental spark by the belligerents in their war games can grow into a fire.
“And the damage for those living along the border and on the five western islands will be great.”
The threats came shortly after South Korea’s PM Chung Hong-won visited Yeonpyeong.
The US and South Korea also began military drills earlier in the week.
South Korea’s western islands are regarded as being particularly vulnerable to attack as they lie 6 miles south of the sea boundary.
In 2010, North korea bombarded Yeonpyeong with artillery shells, causing four deaths.
North Korea’s foreign policy has for decades been dominated by threats of military strikes, and bartering over its nuclear programme.
Although Pyongyang has given up parts of its nuclear programme in return for aid, it has continued to develop missiles and enrich nuclear material.
The most advanced missiles have the capacity to reach Alaska.
It is not thought to have a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced plans to boost missile defences on the United States West Coast to counter the threat from North Korea.
Chuck Hagel said the US would add 14 interceptors, which can shoot down missiles in flight, to 30 already in place in California and Alaska by 2017.
He cited a “series of irresponsible and reckless provocations” recently by North Korea.
Tensions have risen after Pyongyang’s third nuclear test last month.
Only last week North Korea threatened the US with a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
However, despite North Korea’s latest fiery rhetoric, analysts say the regime is years away from producing a missile with the capability to reach the continental US.
“The US has missile defences to protect us from limited ICBM [Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile] attacks,” Chuck Hagel told Friday’s press conference.
“But North Korea in particular has recently made advances in its capabilities and has engaged in a series of irresponsible and reckless provocations.”
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced plans to boost missile defences on the US West Coast to counter the threat from North Korea
Chuck Hagel said the US would also deploy a radar-tracking station in Japan.He continued: “The reason we’re doing what we’re doing, and the reason we’re advancing our programme here for homeland security is not taking any chances, is to stay ahead of the threat and to ensure any contingencies.”
Chuck Hagel said the additional 14 interceptors would be deployed to Fort Greely, in Alaska, at a cost of about $1 billion.
He also announced the Pentagon was beginning environmental impact studies for additional interceptor sites, allowing a shorter timeline for construction if the president decides to go ahead with installing further interceptors.
The Alaska and California sites were built during the presidency of George W. Bush as protection from a possible strike by North Korea.
Technical difficulties with the interceptors slowed their installation.
When asked about the “poor performance” of interceptors during recent trials, Chuck Hagel said further tests would be carried out this year.
“We have confidence in our system and we certainly will not go forward with the addition of the 14 interceptors until we’re sure we have the complete confidence we need.”