War talk between the United States and North Korea continued to escalate in recent days as a U.S. aircraft carrier headed to the Korean peninsula.
“Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike,” an editorial in the Rodong Simnun threatened. It is the official newspaper of the North Korean Workers’ (Communist) Party.
The warning added that the attack would be “an actual example to show our military’s force’ the newspaper also described the aircraft carrier – the USS Carl Vinson — as a “gross animal.” The Vinson arrived in the region as South Korea put its armed forces on heightened alert. The ship is a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier that can haul up to 90 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. It is the flagship of the Navy’s Carrier Strike Group One, which was redeployed from the Indian Ocean to the North China Sea because of rising tensions with North Korea.
The group is moving in as U.S., Chinese and South Korean officials warn that North Korea is set to stage another nuclear test, Reuters reported.
UN Ambassador Warns North Korea
Meanwhile, U.S. forces are set to conduct drills on how to evacuate 230,000 U.S. citizens, including 28,500 military personnel, from South Korea, the Korea Times reported. The drills would simulate transporting the Americans in transport planes to Japan.
On Monday, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned that a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile by North Korea might prompt a U.S. attack. She made the comments on NBC’s Today Show.
“We are not going to do anything unless he gives us reason to do something,” Haley said of Kim Jong-un.
Asked whether her warning included a missile test, Haley responded, “If you see him attack a military base, if you see some sort of intercontinental ballistic missile, then obviously we’re going to do that. But right now, we’re saying don’t test, don’t use nuclear missiles, don’t try and do any more actions, and I think he’s understanding that and China’s helping us really put that pressure on him.”
NBC’s Matt Lauer then said, “Let me just make sure I understand what you just said. If he tests another intercontinental ballistic missile, if he were to test another nuclear device, when you say, ‘Obviously we’re going to do that,’ do you mean military retaliation?”
Haley answered, “I think then the president steps in and decides what’s going to happen.”
The U.S. is not the only nation taking action; the Japanese Navy has dispatched two warships to take part in exercises with Carrier Strike Group One, Reuters reported.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is trying to negotiate a solution to the crisis.
North Korea notched up the tensions by detaining a U.S. citizen for unknown reason. The man detained is Tony Kim, who was teaching accounting at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. He was preparing to fly out of the country when authorities detained him. Kim is one of three Americans in North Korean custody.