Reuters Today: North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of seeking to aggravate the situation on the divided Korean peninsula by “deploying large nuclear assets” nearby and laying the groundwork for a possible pre-emptive strike.
“In view of the nature and scale of U.S. military reinforcements, they are designed to make a pre-emptive strike against the DPRK,” North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, referring to his country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“U.S. officials including the defence secretary and the CIA director repeatedly talked about DPRK nuclear and missile threat to justify their argument for a military option and a new concept of a so-called ‘bloody nose,’ a limited pre-emptive strike on the DPRK is under consideration within the U.S. administration,” Ju said.
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U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told the Geneva forum that North Korea was only months away from being able to hit American territory with a nuclear weapon and must be disarmed.
“North Korea has accelerated its provocative pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, and expressed explicit threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies in the region,” he said.
“North Korean officials insist that they will not give up nuclear weapons, and North Korea may now be only months away from the capability to strike the United States with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.”
The U.S. plans to increase the pressure on North Korea, according to Vice-President Mike Pence on Wednesday. “I’m announcing today the United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever,” he said after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Be Your Own Boss Today
“We will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all.”