Isolated North Korea says its rockets can hit US mainland

SEOUL - Isolated North Korea has rocketsthat can hit the US mainland, it said on Tuesday, two daysafter South Korea struck a deal with the United States to extendthe range of its ballistic missiles.

North and South Korea have been technically at war sincetheir 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, andregional powers have for years been trying to rein in theNorth's nuclear weapons program.

North Korea is believed to be developing a long-rangemissile with a range of 6,700 km or more aimed athitting the United States, but two recent rocket tests bothfailed.

Its neighbors fear the North is using rocket launches toperfect technology to build a missile capable of delivering anuclear warhead to the United States.

North Korea's National Defense Commission said in astatement that the North was prepared to counter any USmilitary threats, its KCNA news agency said.

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