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North Korea threatens Southern islands

Tensions between North and South Korea continued to escalate on Saturday.

North south korea threats march 16Enlarge
A South Korean conservative activist throws a water balloon onto a banner showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) and his troops during a rally denouncing North Korea's threat in Seoul on March 12, 2013. North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un threatened to 'wipe out' a South Korean island as Pyongyang came under new economic and diplomatic fire on March 12, from US sanctions and UN charges of gross rights abuses. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea threatened South Korea again on Saturday, following a visit to the border island of Yeonpyeong by the South's Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. 

Chung was there Thursday to reassure residents that they would be protected in the event of an attack from the north with "forces 10 times the size," Yonhap News Agency reported

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) retorted that the head of the Park Geun-hye administration would be the "first target to be mowed down," according to Yonhap.

The latest threats from North Korea come just a day after the US  vowed to ramp up its defenses on the west coast, as Chuck Hagel announced that 14 more batteries would be placed in Alaska by 2017, BBC News reported.

The jury is out on whether North Korea's tough talking is credible, Digital Journal wrote in an op-ed

While liberal analysts believe that North Korea is making a bluff, conservative analysts believe that North Korea could strike South Korean and American soft targets with nuclear weapons like Japans surprise attack on Pearl Harbor because the current situation is very similar to back then.

Yeonpyeong, a western border island, does have reason to fear: they were hit heavily by the North in 2010, an attack that left at least 46 soldiers and two civilians dead, according to Yonhap. 

More from GlobalPost: North Korea cuts hotline with South, threatens nuclear strike as war games begin (VIDEO)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/130316/north-korea-threatens-southern-islands