North Korea threatens 'unimaginable' strike on U.S. after military drills

Cheryl Sanders
October 19, 2017

In August, for instance, Pyongyang said it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile strike in August near U.S. territory of Guam, which houses 6,000 American troops.

The U.S. and South Korea are conducting drills in the waters around the Korean peninsula.

Greater tensions resulting from the joint exercises demonstrate that the US and South Korea are "threatening the existence and development of the Korean nation", a spokesman for a North Korean government agency said in a statement published Wednesday by the North's Korean Central News Agency. The following day, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said direct talks with North Korea had not been ruled out.

The so-called six-party talks that also involved China and Russian Federation were last held in late 2008 and North Korea went on to conduct its second nuclear test in May 2009.

The warning was issued by Herbert Raymond McMaster, a United States Army officer who is National Security Advisor under President Donald Trump.

North Korea said America's plans to evacuate United States civilians in South Korea beginning on Monday would "intentionally create the tension on the eve of war".

"We have made it clear with this exercise, and many others, that we are ready to defend the Republic of Korea".

North Korean leader Kim Jong UN, in response, called trump "an old man with dementia". "The U.S. military action hardens our determination that the USA should be tamed with fire and lets us take our hand close to the "trigger" for taking the toughest countermeasure".

Admiral Marc Dalton, commander of the Reagan's strike group, said: "The risky and aggressive behaviour by North Korea concerns everybody in the world".

"The entire USA mainland is within our firing range", the statement said. The allies will hold the annual Courageous Channel drills for five days from October 23 to prepare " service members and their families to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as non-combatant evacuation (NEO) and natural or manmade disasters", according to US Forces Korea (USFK). Experts say that North Korea finds it hard to read Trump - and that could make the North Koreans more likely to use force.

The remarks come amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

They allow the President a chance to thank and show solidarity with the USA and South Korean service members who guard one of the most risky borders in the world.

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