On Tuesday, North Korea threatened the U.S. and South Korea with a nuclear strike following the deployment of a U.S. naval strike group close to the nuclear-armed state’s border.
N. Korea Has Strong Reaction to the U.S.’ Move
The strike group was supposed to cruise to Australia this weekend but it canceled its plans to perform a show of force on the North Koreans. The U.S. navy’s move irked Pyongyang which deemed the ‘reckless’ move a ‘serious’ attempt to invade the country.
The [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US,
an official from the North’s foreign ministry told the state-run news agency KCNA.
The director of the country’s military political bureau Hwang Pyong-So had a similarly strong-worded message. He said that if the U.S. and the South planed to start a war, North Korea would “wipe out all of the invaders without a trace with… our strong pre-emptive nuclear strike.”
A top U.S. administration official said that president Trump, who authorized a missile attack on a Syrian airbase last week, asked from his military advisors a complete list of the options he has against North Korea. The Syrian strike was reportedly an attempt to intimidate the reclusive state.
Trump had previously said that he would singlehandedly curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, if China – the DPRK’s traditional ally – failed to do it. However, the North’s recent remarks show that the country hasn’t changed its ways, despite a series of United Nations sanctions.
A spokesperson at the foreign ministry said the country would “take the toughest counteraction” against the U.S. and other “provocateurs.” The spokesperson added that the U.S. would be held “wholly” accountable for its “outrageous actions.”
A Sixth Nuclear Test Probably in the Making
The West is concerned that North Korea will perform a sixth nuclear test to mark the 105th anniversary of the leader Kim Jong-Un’s grandfather on Saturday. These celebrations are often marked with displays of military might.
On Monday, thousands of soldiers and army leaders gathered in the state’s capital to hail and pledge loyalty to Kim. During the event, hundreds of soldiers marched on the city’s streets holding giant portraits of the regime’s founders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.
South Korean is concerned its neighbor may resort to other grave provocations to mark similar anniversaries such as the North’s army’s founding day (Apr. 25).
North Koreans are reportedly working on a nuclear, long-range missile system able of hitting the continental U.S. So far, the country has conducted five nuclear tests despite international warnings.
Satellite data suggests Pyongyang is ready for a sixth test. The U.S. intelligence community believes North Korea will be able to reach its goal within two years. South Korea said that it had talked with China and agreed to “strong” retaliatory measures against the regime if they carried out the test.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after Trump’s two-day summit with the Chinese president Xi Jinping that the country was ready to chart its own course if China refused to help.
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