On Monday, US and South Korean navies held a joint exercise in a show of force to North Korea.
Tensions on the peninsula have peaked in recent months because of the increased number of missile launches by Pyongyang, which on September 3 also led its most powerful nuclear test to date. Meanwhile, the North and US President Donald Trump exchange bellicose threats.
Since then, Washington has intensified military exercises with South Korea and Japan, its two closest allies in the region.
“The last exercise is to continue to be prepared for North Korea’s naval provocations and to improve our ability to conduct joint exercises,” a spokesman for the South Korean Navy told the press.
These exercises, which will last 10 days, take place on the south side of the “northern boundary line”, the maritime boundary drawn by the United Nations and the United States forces in 1953.
According to the US Navy, USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and two destroyers are participating in the exercise alongside South Korean vessels.
Pyongyang should not fail to be irritated. The North had warned in advance about joint maneuvers.
“If the US imperialists and their South Korean puppets provoke a war of nuclear aggression against us, it would only precipitate their own death,” according to the official KCNA agency.
The US Army has shown its muscles in recent days in the peninsula. The USS Michigan nuclear submarine arrived Friday in the South Korean port of Busan, according to Yonhap agency, a few days after the departure of another nuclear submarine, the USS Tucson .
Nuclear War Could Break Out At Any Time
The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations believes that a nuclear conflict could break out on the Korean peninsula and threaten the United States again.
“All American territory is now within range of our missiles and if the United States dares to invade our sacred ground, they will not escape our punishment,” Kim In Ryong told the Disarmament Committee of the Assembly of Nations (UN).
As the Associated Press reported, the ambassador went on to explain that no nation had ever faced a nuclear threat comparable to that of the United States on its country since the 1970s, justifying the development of weapons nuclear weapons by North Korea.
Kim In Ryong’s belligerent speech is part of a series of threats between North Korea and the United States and the European Union (EU) adopted new sanctions earlier this week against Pyongyang.
Europeans want to send a message of “great resolve to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The Korean People’s Army and its supervisory ministry are among the new entities added on Monday to the EU’s “black list”, which means a freezing of their assets in the EU.
“The Korean People’s Army understands the strategic ballistic forces, which control the strategic nuclear and conventional missile units of North Korea,” the EU said in its decision.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was taking care to reduce its economic ties, in particular, with Pyongyang in line with EU sanctions.
The day before, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he would try to negotiate with North Korea “until the first bombs fall.”
A few weeks ago, however, US President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Mr. Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to talk with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom Mr. Trump now calls “the little rocket man “.