Bord Foren


North Korea raises specter of nuclear strike over US aircraft carrier’s arrival in South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea lashed out Friday at the arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in South Korea, calling it a provocation and again raising the specter of using nuclear weapons to defend itself.

Emboldened by its advancing nuclear arsenal, North Korea has increasingly issued threats to use such weapons preemptively. But the North is still outgunned by U.S. and South Korean forces, and experts say it is unlikely to use its nukes first, though it will continue to upgrade those arms without returning to diplomacy for the time being.

The North’s latest nuclear threat came a day after the USS Ronald Reagan and its battle group arrived at South Korea’s southeastern port of Busan, following U.S.-South Korean-Japanese naval exercise in international waters earlier this week.

South Korean defense officials said the carrier is to be docked at Busan for five days as part of an agreement to increase the temporary deployments of powerful U.S. military assets in response to the North’s growing nuclear program.

Other news
U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is escorted as it arrives in Busan, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. (Kang Duck-chul/Yonhap via AP)US aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as North’s leader Kim exchanges messages with PutinThis satellite photo from Planet Labs PBC shows increased activity at the Tumangang Rail Facility in North Korea, on Oct. 5, 2023. Recent satellite photos show a sharp increase in rail traffic along the North Korea-Russia border, indicating the North is supplying munitions to Russia, according to a U.S. think tank. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)Hamas’ attack on Israel prompts South Korea to consider pausing military agreement with North KoreaFILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, on Sept. 13, 2023. North Korea on Monday, Sept. 25 called South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol “a guy with a trash-like brain” and “a diplomatic idiot” as it slammed him for using a U.N. speech to issue a warning over the North’s deepening military ties with Russia. (Vladimir Smirnov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)A surge in rail traffic on North Korea-Russia border suggests arms supply to Russia, think tank says

On Friday, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency called the aircraft carrier’s arrival “an undisguised military provocation” that proves a U.S. plan to attack North Korea is being realized. It threatened to respond in line with its escalatory nuclear doctrine that authorizes the preemptive use of nuclear weapons

READ:   Elite Kenyan police unit goes on trial in the killing of a prominent Pakistani journalist last year

“The (North Korean) doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons already opened to public allows the execution of necessary action procedures in case a nuclear attack is launched against it or it is judged that the use of nuclear weapons against it is imminent,” the KCNA dispatch said.

North Korea’s “most powerful and rapid first strike will be given to the ‘extended deterrence’ means, used by the U.S. to hallucinate its followers, and the bases of evil in the Korean peninsula and its vicinity,” KCNA added.

North Korea has argued it was forced to develop nuclear weapons to cope with what it calls the U.S. and South Korean plots to invade. It has often made furious responses to the deployment of U.S. strategic assets like aircraft carriers, long-range bombers and nuclear-powered submarines as well as U.S. joint training exercises with South Korean forces.

Many experts say North Korea heightens tensions with its rivals to provide a pretext for expanding its nuclear arsenal and then uses the arms as leverage to wrest greater outside concessions.

Since last year, North Korea has conducted more than 100 missile tests in the name of responding to the expanded U.S.-South Korean military drills. Washington and Seoul say their drills are defensive in nature.

Last year, North Korea adopted a law that stipulates a broad range of situations in which it can use nuclear weapons, including when it determines that its leadership faces imminent attack by hostile forces or when it needs to prevent an unspecified catastrophic crisis to its people and government.

READ:   A UN report urges Russia to investigate an attack on a Ukrainian village that killed 59 civilians

The U.S. and South Korean governments have repeatedly warned that any attempt by North Korea to use nuclear weapons would result in the end of the North’s government led by Kim Jong Un.