By Haejin Choi and Heekyong Yang SEOUL (Reuters) – Long within reach of most conventional North Korean artillery and missiles, South Korea and Japan are far from prepared if an all-out military conflict breaks out as tensions escalate over Pyongyang’s rapidly advancing nuclear weapons program. The United States said this week it was ready to use force if necessary to counter the threat from North Korea, which tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts believe has the range to reach Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. Pacific Northwest. North Korea often threatens to strike the neighboring South and Japan, vowing to turn Seoul into a ‘sea of fire’ and ‘a pile of ashes’ the moment it has an order from leader Kim Jong Un. South Korea has nearly 19,000 bomb shelters throughout the country. They include more than 3,200 in Seoul, just 40 km (25 miles) from the militarized border drawn up under a truce that stopped the 1950-53 Korean War but left the combatants technically at war. Chung Yoon-jin, a university student in Seoul, had no clue these shelters existed. “I have never seen any signs that say ‘shelter’, although I have been to lots of places… Read full this story
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