Bush and Barack Hussein allowed the situation in North Korea to get to the boiling point. Emboldened by two decades of inaction on the part of the West, Kim Jong Un feels like Superman.
The North Korean problem should have been dealt with long ago by its neighbors, China, South Korea, Russia, and Japan. Now, millions could die as the result of allowing a nutjob to build powerful nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s vice foreign minister said Friday that his country was ready for another nuclear test and would take military countermeasures if the Donald Trump administration chose “reckless” options such as a pre-emptive strike, according to The Korea Times.
Vice Minister Han Song-ryol told the Associated Press in Pyongyang that it was not North Korea but the U.S. and President Trump that were “making trouble,” warning, “We will go to war if they choose.”
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Han was quoted as saying, “If the U.S. comes up with reckless military maneuvers, then we will confront it with the DPRK’s pre-emptive strike.
“We’ve got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike.”
DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.
The comments came amid heightening tension here over reports about an imminent nuclear test by Pyongyang, and Washington’s indication of willingness to use military force to remove threats posed by the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
Speculation has been growing that the North could commit major provocations, including the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-sung (Saturday) or the 85th anniversary of the creation of the Korean People’s Army, April 25.
U.S.-based North Korea monitoring website 38 North said Thursday that a nuclear test at the North’s Punggye-ri test site seemed “primed and ready,” citing commercial satellite imagery from Wednesday.
The Kim Jong-un regime’s road-mobile KN-08 or KN-14 ICBMs are believed to have a range of more than 10,000 kilometers, enabling them to hit the U.S. mainland.
Han said an additional nuclear test was “something that our headquarters decides,” noting, “At a time and at a place where the headquarters deems necessary, it will take place.”
He said Washington had become “more vicious and more aggressive” under the leadership of President Trump than it had been under his predecessor Barack Obama.
Han cited the ongoing biggest joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S., and the American move to send the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its battle group to the peninsula.
“Whatever comes from U.S. politicians, if their words are designed to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them,” he said.
The vice foreign minister also cited tweets posted by Trump, Tuesday, in which the U.S. President said the North was “looking for trouble” and if China did not cooperate, “we will solve the problem without them.”
“Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words,” Han said, blaming the U.S. President for building up a “vicious cycle” of tension on the peninsula.
The North’s military also pledged a “merciless response” to any U.S. “provocation,” saying its pre-emptive strike will burn the U.S. military bases in Osan, Gunsan and Pyeongtaek in the South, and Cheong Wa Dae to the ground in several minutes.
“The provocation will meet our strong countermeasures, which will include pre-emptive strikes with ground, marine, underwater and air forces,” the General Staff Department of the North’s People’s Army said in a statement.
Saying its missiles can target U.S. bases in Japan and Guam and the U.S. mainland, the military said, “It would be a mistake to treat us like Syria which did not take any immediate countermeasures against the attack.”
The Trump administration has continued to make hawkish remarks about the North: NBC News reported Thursday, citing multiple senior intelligence officials, that Washington was prepared to launch a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang if it seemed certain that the Kim regime was about to conduct a sixth nuclear test.
The report added that the U.S. had deployed two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles near the region, one of them just 300 miles from the North’s nuclear test site.
Trump also told reporters that North Korea was a problem and “the problem will be taken care of.”
Tension over Washington’s possible use of military force against the North has increased after the surprise U.S. strike on an air base in Syria, April 6, in response to the use of deadly chemical weapons against civilians.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday the strike was a warning to other nations, including North Korea, that “a response is likely” once any nation poses a threat.
On Thursday, the U.S. military also dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb, the GBU-43B, on an Islamic State target in eastern Afghanistan.
During an interview with Fox Business aired Wednesday, Trump said, “I’m not like Obama,” who he claimed talked too much about military action in advance.