NKorea warns of nuclear test ‘at any time’

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SEOUL: North Korea warned Monday that it will carry out a nuclear test “at any time and at any location” set by its leadership, in the latest rhetoric to fuel jitters in the region.

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Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been running high for weeks, with signs that the North might be preparing a long-range missile launch or a sixth nuclear test—and with Washington refusing to rule out a military strike in response.

A spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry said Pyongyang was “fully ready to respond to any option taken by the US”.

The regime will continue bolstering its “preemptive nuclear attack” capabilities unless Washington scrapped its hostile policies, he said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.

“The DPRK’s measures for bolstering the nuclear force to the maximum will be taken in a consecutive and successive way at any moment and any place decided by its supreme leadership,” the spokesman added, apparently referring to a sixth nuclear test and using the North’s official name, the Democratic Republic of Korea.

The North has carried out five nuclear tests in the last 11 years and is widely believed to be making progress towards its dream of building a missile capable of delivering a warhead to the continental United States.

It raises the tone of its warnings every spring, when Washington and Seoul carry out joint exercises it condemns as rehearsals for invasion, but this time fears of conflict have been fuelled by a cycle of threats from both sides.

The joint drills have just ended, but naval exercises are continuing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) with a US strike group led by the aircraft carrier US Carl Vinson.

The Pyongyang foreign ministry spokesman said if the North was not armed with “the powerful nuclear force”, Washington would have “committed without hesitation the same brigandish aggression act in Korea as what it committed against other countries”.

The statement reasserts the North’s long-running rhetoric on its military capabilities.

Seoul also regularly warns that Pyongyang can carry out a test whenever it decides to do so.

Pyongyang’s latest attempted show of force was a failed missile test on Saturday that came just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pressed the UN Security Council to do more to push the North into abandoning its weapons programme.

Tillerson warned the UN Security Council last week of “catastrophic consequences” if the world does not act and said that military options for dealing with the North were still “on the table”.

AFP

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1 Comment

  1. dating kriminal on

    The fat boy with ugly haircut in North Korea is bluffing and scaring people and countries in Southeast Asia. If he really want to flex his muscles, he should start testing those missiles while the U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Strike Group still in the area. Better yet, he should start firing his missiles toward the Aircraft Carrier Strike Group and see how the U.S. Navy respond to his actions. To tell this ugly fat boy frankly, the U.S. Navy has been bored waiting for you to commit stupid mistakes and their hand are getting itchy to push buttons to unleash their gifts, going toward you. Like the Secretary of the State said, that there will be “catastrophic consequences”, put it simply, you may never have the chance to regret on the things you have done to your country.