North Korea: US car­rier groups raise nu­clear war threat

Manila Bulletin - - World News -

UNITED NA­TIONS (AP) – North Korea warned Mon­day that the un­prece­dented de­ploy­ment of three US 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 Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral An­to­nio Gut­teres 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 US has re­ac­ti­vated round-the­clock sor­ties with nu­clear-ca­pa­ble B-52 strate­gic bombers “which ex­isted dur­ing the Cold War times.''

He also said the US is main­tain­ing “a sur­prise strike pos­ture with fre­quent flights of B-1B and B-2 for­ma­tions to the airspace of South Korea.''

“The large-scale nu­clear war ex­er­cises and black­mails, which the US 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 US main­land, and it re­cently con­ducted its largest-ever un­der­ground nu­clear ex­plo­sion. It has also threat­ened to ex­plode an­other nu­clear bomb above the Pa­cific Ocean.

The four-day joint naval ex­er­cises by the US and South Korea, which be­gan Satur­day in waters off the South's east­ern coast, 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 US Aegis ships that can track mis­siles, and seven South Korean naval ves­sels.

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