Date
19 November 2017
Washington has sent aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson toward the Korean peninsula in a show of force against North Korea. Credit: Reuters
Washington has sent aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson toward the Korean peninsula in a show of force against North Korea. Credit: Reuters

North Korea warns of nuclear strike if provoked

North Korean state media warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression, as a US Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific.

“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the US invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland,” the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said, according to Reuters.

The warning came after Washington diverted aircraft carrier strike group Carl Vinson toward the Korean peninsula in a show of force and officials said that North Korea has been put “on notice”.

US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that North Korea is “looking for trouble” and that the US will “solve the problem” with or without Beijing’s help.

Tension has escalated sharply on the Korean peninsula amid concerns that Pyongyang may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test.

US officials have previously stressed that stronger sanctions are the most likely course to press North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

At the same time, Washington has said all options – including military ones – are on the table and that a US strike last week against Syria should serve as a warning to Pyongyang.

The strike group heading toward Korea includes two destroyers and a cruiser, besides the nuclear-powered flagship aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the deployment was not tied to a specific event but a matter of prudence.

Saturday is the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founding father and grandfather of the current ruler.

North Korea often marks important anniversaries with tests of its nuclear or missile capabilities.

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RC

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