(Newsroom America) -- North Korean military officials said Monday the country's ballistic missiles are capable of striking the U.S., an apparent response to Washington's efforts to boost the range of South Korea's missiles.
A day earlier, South Korean officials announced an agreement with the U.S. that extends the country's missiles to about 497 miles (800 km), or twice their current range, as a means of deterring the North.
The U.S. has repeatedly said it has no intentions of attacking North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The Pentagon maintains a force of 20,000 troops in South Korea as a deterrent to northern aggression, however.
The North's national military commission issued a statement that was carried by official state news agencies saying the country was prepared to counter any U.S. threat.
"We do not hide [the fact] that the revolutionary armed forces ... including the strategic rocket forces are keeping within the scope of strike not only the bases of the puppet forces and the U.S. imperialist aggression forces' bases in the inviolable land of Korea, but also Japan, Guam and the U.S. mainland," said the statement.
Pyongyang is believed to be developing a ballistic missile with a range in excess of 4,100 miles (6,700 km), which would be capable of striking parts of the U.S. Recent tests of longer range missiles have failed, but experts believe the North is gaining in terms of the technology necessary to build such missiles.
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