Date
29 May 2017
An F18 fighter jet takes off from the deck of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Tuesday during an annual joint military exercise between South Korea and US in the East Sea. Photo: Reuters
An F18 fighter jet takes off from the deck of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Tuesday during an annual joint military exercise between South Korea and US in the East Sea. Photo: Reuters

Pyongyang issues warning as US carrier joins S Korea drills

North Korea warned the United States of “merciless” attacks if a US aircraft carrier that is currently engaged in joint military drills with South Korean navy in waters off the Korean peninsula infringes on the North’s “sovereignty or dignity”.

“On March 11 alone, many enemy carrier-based aircraft flew along a course near territorial air and waters of the DPRK to stage drills of dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets of its army,” North Korea said on Tuesday via state news agency KCNA.

The arrival of the US strike group in the seas off the east of the Korean peninsula was part of a “reckless scheme” to attack North Korea, it said.

“If they infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater,” KCNA said, according to Reuters.

The warning came as the USS Carl Vinson plowed through seas off South Korea on Tuesday, with F-18 fighter jets taking off from the flight deck in a dramatic display of US firepower.

The nuclear-powered US carrier was participating in joint military exercises with the South Korean navy, large-scale drills that began on March 1.

Last week, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan in response to the annual US-South Korea military drills, which the North sees as preparation for war.

The exercise last year involved about 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans. South Korea has said this year’s exercise would be of a similar scale.

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RC

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