North Korea Warns: US Troops In Its ‘Nuclear Sights’

KCNA/via Reuters

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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North Korea is outraged as the U.S. deploys strategic assets to Korea for a potential crisis on the peninsula.

U.S. and South Korean troops have been training for a renewed conflict in Korea, and a U.S. Navy carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson was rerouted to the Korean peninsula in a show of force. North Korea argues that these moves are actually “reckless” maneuvers for an invasion, an assertion possibly much more credible after President Donald Trump’s decision to bomb Syria.

“The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US,” the Korean Central News Agency reported Monday, citing the North Korean foreign ministry, “We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions.”

Another state-run North Korean media outlet was a bit more specific in its comments.

North Korea has threatened U.S. and South Korean military bases in the Pacific Ocean and “even the U.S. mainland,” the Rodong Sinmun, reported Tuesday, “Our military is keeping an eye on the movement of enemy forces while putting them in our nuclear sights.”

“Should the U.S. lose rationality and make the slightest movement to conduct preemptive strikes against us, our mighty nuclear weapons will obliterate the strongholds of invasion and provocation,” the ruling party paper argued, adding, “The U.S. must realize that … the preemptive strike is not an exclusive right to the U.S.”

North Korea said Sunday that it is “not frightened” by the supposed “warning” sent by the strikes on Syria.

The North has ramped up its missile launches in recent weeks in response to perceived provocations from the U.S. and its allies. Trump tweeted Tuesday that “North Korea is looking for trouble.”

The Trump administration has been strongly pressuring China to rein in its neighbor, but while China appears to have cut certain trade ties, Beijing has yet to provide any concrete commitments. Trump has indicated that the U.S. will act unilaterally if China refuses to cooperate; however, it is unclear what actions the president might take.

Evidence suggests that the administration would lean towards non-military action first, but more aggressive responses could be used if the initial approaches fail to yield results.

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