N. Korea complains of U.S. to UN head
North Korea warned Monday that the unprecedented deployment of three U.S. aircraft carrier groups “taking up a strike posture” around the Korean peninsula is making it impossible to predict when nuclear war will break out.
North Korea’s UN Ambassador Ja Song Nam said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres Monday that the joint military exercises with South Korea are creating “the worst ever situation prevailing in and around the Korean peninsula.”
Along with the three carrier groups, he said the U.S. has reactivated round-the-clock sorties with nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers “which existed during the Cold War times.”
“The large-scale nuclear war exercises and blackmails, which the U.S. staged for a whole year without a break in collaboration with its followers to stifle our republic, make one conclude that the option we have taken was the right one and we should go along the way to the last,” Ja said.
He didn’t elaborate on what “the last” might be, but North Korea has launched ballistic missiles that have the potential to strike the U.S. mainland, and it recently conducted its largest underground nuclear explosion. It has also threatened to explode another nuclear bomb above the Pacific Ocean.
The four-day joint naval exercises by the U.S. and South Korea, which began Saturday, were described by military officials as a clear warning to North Korea. They involve the carrier battle groups of the USS Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz, which include 11 U.S. Aegis ships that can track missiles, and seven South Korean naval vessels.
Seoul’s military said in a statement that the exercises aim to enhance the combined U.S. and South Korean operational and aerial strike capabilities and to display “strong will and firm military readiness to defeat any provocation by North Korea with dominant force in the event of crisis.”
The military drills come amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to South Korea and Asia, which has been dominated by discussions over the North Korean nuclear threat.
Ja accused the UN Security Council in Monday’s letter of repeatedly “turning a blind eye to the nuclear war exercises of the United States, who is hell bent on bringing a catastrophic disaster to humanity.”
In this photo provided by South Korea Defence Ministry, U.S. and South Korean ships are seen during joint naval exercises.