North Korea says a U.S. carrier’s return escalates tensions: Pyongyang’s recent missile launches were a “logical reaction” to its enemies’ military activities. North Korea warned Saturday that relocating a U.S. aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula threatens regional stability.
A day after the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, started a fresh round of naval maneuvers with South Korean warships off the peninsula’s east coast. The North Korean Defense Ministry released a statement.
After North Korea launched a powerful missile over Japan earlier this week to protest the carrier group’s prior training with South Korea. The Reagan and its battle group returned to the region.
An unnamed representative for the North Korean Defense Ministry said in comments reported by state media that Reagan’s repositioning is “an event of fairly big detrimental impact to the regional situation.” The “very worrying development of the existing scenario is carefully approach by the military forces of (North Korea).”
As a warning against North Korea’s “just vengeance,” he called Reagan’s return “military bluffing.”
North Korea views joint military drills between the United States and South Korea as a practice for an invasion. Therefore, it is susceptible if such exercises include critical American assets like an aircraft carrier.
In addition, North Korea has claimed that the U.S. nuclear threats drove it to undertake a nuclear weapons program.
Officials from the United States and South Korea have consistently said they have no plans to strike the North.
North Korea has added to its record-breaking pace of weapons testing this year by launching ten ballistic missiles into the sea in five launch events over the last two weeks.
One of the most recent weapon tests was a nuclear-capable missile that flew over Japan for the first time in five years and showed it had the range to reach Guam and other areas of the U.S. Pacific region.
Other nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that can reach the U.S. mainland and its allies. South Korea and Japan, were tested by North Korea earlier this year.
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, seems to have little interest in establishing diplomatic relations with the United States and instead concentrates on building up his military.
Some analysts think Kim will use his nuclear program to demand additional concessions from the outside world, such as recognition of North Korea as a legitimate nuclear state, which Kim believes is vital to ease severe U.N. sanctions on his country.
The most recent drill session between the Reagan Carrier Group and the South Korean military will finish on Saturday.
North Korea reportedly poised to undertake its first underground nuclear test since 2017 and test a new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile and submarine-launched ballistic missile.