N. Korea com­plains of U.S. to UN head

The Niagara Falls Review - - WORLD NEWS - EDITH M. LED­ERER

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.”

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this photo pro­vided by South Korea De­fence Min­istry, U.S. and South Korean ships are seen during joint naval ex­er­cises.

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