N.Korea warns of catastrophic consequences to US
North Korea has finalized its preparations for war as it responded with a warning of “catastrophic consequences” to any further provocations by the US following the US Navy strike group positioning on the North Korean peninsula.
The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier was diverted to western Pacific from its visit to Australia after tensions mounted over military drills involving American and South Korean forces, something which Pyongyang has interpreted as preparation for invasion.
“We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions,” North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman said. “(North Korea) is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US.”
The guardian reports: The spokesman cited Washington’s refusal to rule out a pre-emptive strike against North Korean missile sites as justification for its nuclear program.
“The prevailing grave situation proves once again that (North Korea) was entirely just when it increased in every way its military capabilities for self-defense and pre-emptive attack with a nuclear force as a pivot,” the spokesman said, according to KCNA.
“We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by the powerful force of arms.”
Last week’s US strike against a Syrian base is also being seen as a warning to North Korea after Donald Trump said Washington was prepared to act alone if China failed to exert more pressure on its neighbor to halt its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.
North Korea again defied UN resolutions banning it from developing ballistic missile technology with another test-launch on the eve of Trump’s summit with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, in Florida last week.
White House officials have signalled that all options – including pre-emptive strikes – remain on the table in addressing North Korea’s steady advance towards developing long-range missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead as far as the US mainland.
The nuclear-powered Carl Vinson’s presence in the area coincides with speculation that North Korea could be preparing to conduct its sixth nuclear test to coincide with key dates in the country’s history, including the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il-sung, on Saturday.
China’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, has played down reports that Beijing has deployed 150,000 troops to its border with North Korea.
Hua Chunying, a foreign ministry spokesperson, told reporters she was “not aware” of such a mobilisation by the People’s Liberation Army along the 880-mile border. In the past, similar reports had been proven “groundless and false,” Hua claimed.
However, with regional tensions building ahead of Saturday’s Kim Il-sung commemorations, Hua said China was “closely following” developments on the Korean peninsula.“We believe that, given the current situation, all relevant parties should exercise restraint and avoid activities that may escalate the tension.”
Kill Kim before he kills us: Top-ranking defector says North Korean dictator WILL use nukes and the only solution is to ‘eliminate’ him
- Thae Yong Ho is the most high-profile North Korean defector in two decades
- He says that Kim Jong-un is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US
- Thae said that the world should be prepared North Korea to launch missiles
- He said the ‘real solution to the North Korean nuclear issue is to eliminate Kim’
A senior North Korean defector claims that the country’s leader Kim Jong-un is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies.
Thae Yong Ho, a former deputy ambassador in London and the most high-profile North Korean defector in two decades, says that the world should be prepared.
Thae said that Kim is ‘desperate in maintaining his rule by relying on his [development of] nuclear weapons and ICBM’, referring to an acronym for intercontinental ballistic missiles, or long range rockets that in theory could hit the United States.
Thae Yong Ho, the most high-profile North Korean defector in two decades, says that the world should be ready if Kim were to fire missiles
‘Once he sees that there is any kind of sign of a tank or an imminent threat from America, then he would use his nuclear weapons with ICBM,’ he told NBC News.
While Thae was not directly involved in North Korea’s weapons program, he believes that the country has reached a ‘very significant level’ of development.
‘If Kim Jong Un has nuclear weapons and ICBMs, he can do anything,’ the defector, who can give rare insight into North Korea due to his former status in the country, added. ‘So, I think the world should be ready to deal with this kind of person.’
‘Kim Jong Un is a man who can do anything beyond the normal imagination,’ he warned, adding that the ‘real solution to the North Korean nuclear issue is to eliminate Kim Jong Un from the post’.
Thae has previously said the country is aiming to complete its development of nuclear weapons by the end of this year.
He claimed the leader will stop at nothing to develop a nuclear programme – and would even turn down trillions of dollars if he was offered a pay-off to abandon the nuclear race.
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, two of them last year.
Tensions have escalated in the region following a series of missile launches by North Korea in recent months and reports suggesting Pyongyang may be preparing another atomic test.
In February the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell provocatively close to Japan, in what it said was a drill for an attack on US bases in the neighbouring Asian country.
Last August Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a SLBM 500 kilometres towards Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un hailed as the ‘greatest success.’
Analysts say that while Pyongyang has made faster progress in its SLBM system than originally expected, it is still years away from deployment.
The isolated North is barred under UN resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology.
Adm Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet told NBC News that US officials were worried about North Korea’s most recent threat.
‘They have the nuclear capability – they’ve demonstrated that,’ he said. ‘And then, where they’re going with the miniaturization of that, whether they can actually weaponize a missile, that’s what’s driving the current concern.’
President Donald Trump warned in an interview that the United States is prepared to act unilaterally to deal with North Korea’s nuclear program if China proves unwilling to help.
“Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times of London.
Sources: Reuters, NBC, NeonNettle and MailOnline