SEOUL – North Korea vowed Tuesday to take the “toughest” counteraction against
the United States as Washington is sending its strategic assets near the Korean
Peninsula for what the North calls an invasion of Pyongyang, South Korea’s
Yonhap news agency reported.
The North’s warning was made after the US dispatched the USS Carl Vinson, a
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, to waters off the divided peninsula amid signs
of the North’s provocations.
North Korea’s foreign ministry warned that the country is ready to take the
toughest actions to defend itself with powerful weaponry against what it calls
“We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to
be entailed by its outrageous actions,” a ministry spokesman was quoted as
saying by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Tensions on the peninsula have heightened amid speculation that North Korea
may conduct its sixth nuclear test or launch a long-range rocket around its key
anniversaries in April.
Concerns about a possible US pre-emptive strike against North Korea are
growing as well.
US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster told Fox News that President
Donald Trump has ordered him to prepare “a full range of options” to nuclear and
missile threats North Korea poses to Washington and its allies.
North Korea claimed that Washington’s military threats justified its
development of nuclear and missile programmes.
“The prevailing grave situation proves once again that (North Korea) was
entirely just when it increased in every way its military capabilities for
self-defence and pre-emptive attack with a nuclear force as a pivot,” the
Meanwhile, the Korean People’s Army (KPA), North Korea’s military, condemned
the US for applying a “double” standard” to South Korea’s provocation.
The North was referring to South Korea’s test-firing of a new
800-kilometre-range Hyunmoo-type ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in
“This is a brazen-faced stance quite different from its reaction to the
routine rocket firing exercise of the KPA,” a spokesman for the General Staff of
the KPA said.