North Korea vows response to ‘reckless’ US Navy move
North Korea denounced the US deployment of a naval strike group to the region Tuesday.
The strike group — which includes the Nimitz-class aircraft supercarrier USS Carl Vinson — cancelled a planned trip to Australia this weekend.
Heading to the Korean peninsula instead in a show of force.
“This goes to prove that the US reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase,” a spokesman said.
“The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US,” he said.
President Donald Trump, fresh from ordering a missile strike on Syria that was widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea, has asked his advisors for a range of options to rein in Pyongyang.
Trump has previously threatened unilateral action against Pyongyang.
But Pyongyang’s response suggested the reclusive state is determined to continue on its current path.
“We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms,” the foreign ministry spokesman said.
“We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions.”
State TV showed thousands of goose-stepping soldiers marching in unison, carrying giant portraits of the regime’s founder Kim Il-Sung and his son, Kim Jong-Il, in front of the Kumsusan mausoleum where their embalmed bodies are on display.
Kim was not seen at the event televised on Tuesday.
The South’s prime minister warned of a “grave provocation” by the North to coincide with other anniversaries.
“There is a possibility that the North launches more grave provocations such as another nuclear test to mark a number of anniversaries,” Hwang Kyo-Ahn said in a cabinet meeting.
Pyongyang is on a quest to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the US mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests.
Satellite imagery analysis suggests it could be preparing for a sixth.
Intelligence officials warn it could be less than two years away from achieving the ability to strike the continental United States.
South Korea’s top nuclear envoy said Monday after talks with his Chinese counterpart that the two nations had agreed to “strong” new measures to punish Pyongyang if it carried out another nuclear test.
The talks came shortly after Trump hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping for a summit at which he pressed Beijing to do more to curb the North’s nuclear ambitions.