North Korea has promised a strong response if the US “dares opt for a military action”, warning such a move would have “catastrophic consequences”. Washington has sent the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to the region for annual US-South Korea war games, which Pyongyang views as a dress rehearsal for an invasion. The US says it is aimed at maintaining “readiness and presence” in the region. Tensions on the Korean peninsula are already high because of recent ballistic missile launches by the North, which violate UN resolutions.
We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions.
Spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry
Pyongyang has long maintained the US is preparing some kind of assault against it and justifies its pursuit of nuclear weapons as defensive in nature. A top US official said on Sunday that President Donald Trump has asked his advisers for a range of options to rein in North Korea. Mr Trump has previously threatened unilateral action against Pyongyang if China - the North’s major ally - fails to help curb its neighbour’s nuclear weapons programme. But the North’s latest response suggests the reclusive state is determined to continue on its current path, despite numerous rounds of UN sanctions.