The Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — 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 U.N. ambassador, Ja Song Nam, said in a letter to Secretary General 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 United States has reactivated round-the-clock sorties with nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers “which existed during the Cold War times.”
He also said the United States 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 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 did not 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-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 United States 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 U.S. Aegis ships that can track missiles, and seven South Korean naval vessels.