13 Abril 2017 15:59
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North Korea has threatened 'catastrophic consequences' in response to any further provocations by the US after the USS Carl Vinson was deployed to Korean waters.
'We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions. North Korea is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US,' the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
The White House's decision to deploy ships to the area, and the shrill rhetoric of Kim Jong-un's regime – both of which contribute to raising the risk of confrontation in the area – have come after joint annual military maneuvers by the US and South Korea. For Pyongyang, the objective of such maneuvers is the invasion of its territory.
US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has also made it clear that last week's missile strike against Bachar al-Assad airbase – punishment for Assad's use of chemical weapons – was a warning to any nation that acts outside of international law.
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'If you violate international norms, if you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken,' Tillerson said on ABC.
Although the interview in question was primarily about Syria, Tillerson made it clear he was sending a message to North Korea after the country again defied UN resolutions banning it from developing ballistic missile technology by carrying out another test-launch on the eve of Trump's summit with Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.
'If you violate international norms, if you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken.'
North Korea has carried out three nuclear tests so far this year, and two last year. Adding to these tensions are reports in 38North – a website devoted to analysis of North Korea – which say that satellite imagery suggests the country's nuclear test site appears to be primed and ready for new tests.
This Saturday is the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founder – and grandfather of the present leader – Kim Il-sing. Analysts believe that North Korea could be preparing to conduct its sixth nuclear test to coincide with this key date, despite the presence of the US aircraft carrier in the vicinity.