A North Korean official reportedly is threatening to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Washington D.C. A North Korean general is quoted as saying, “the stronghold of evils will be engulfed in a sea of fire.” Iowa Senator Tom Harkin was asked how President Obama should react.
“Laugh at him?” Harkin says, laughing. “I don’t know. That’s so preposterous.” North Korean media reports tens of thousands of people held a mass rally today in Pyongyang to protest possible U.S. sanctions on that nation. Harkin, who lives in Washington, D.C. much of the year, is unphased by the threat of nuclear annihilation.
“I have seen no evidence and I’ve not gotten any briefings that I’ve been involved in that indicate North Korea has any capability even close to that,” Harkin says. “Listen, North Korea is bizarre. It’s a bizarre state. I’m not saying they can’t be dangerous to their neighbors but they are not any danger to us.”
While North Korea may have fuel to make several “dirty bomb-type” nuclear devices, it’s believed the nation’s scientists have not mastered a way to fire a nuclear-tipped missile as far as the U.S.
On another topic, there’s much speculation about how gasoline prices and other key markets in the U.S. may fluctuate in the wake of this week’s death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Senator Harkin says he’d like to see that South American nation unify and progress in the months ahead.
“As the people of Venezuela turn a new page in its history with the passing of President Chavez, I echo President Obama’s words that the U.S. remains ready to work with Venezuela in promoting the rule of law, democratic principles and respect for human rights.”
The 58-year-old Chavez died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer. Gasoline prices in Iowa and nationwide have dropped in the past week. The current average price per gallon in Iowa is $3.69, down a nickel since last Thursday. The U.S. average has fallen seven cents to $3.71.