PYONGYANG – North Korea’s Dictator Kim Jong-un denounced the United States Tuesday for deploying a naval strike group near the Korean peninsula amid rising regional tensions.
“This goes to prove that the US reckless moves for invading [North Korea] have reached a serious phase,” a North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added North Korea “is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US”
Following another missile test by North Korea, a US naval strike group cancelled a planned trip to Australia and embarked to the Korean peninsula in a show of force to Pyongyang.
US President Donald Trump asked his advisers this week for a range of options to deal with North Korea as the country pursues a nuclear weapons programme.
On Tuesday, South Korean leader Hwang Kyo-ahn warned Pyongyang may soon conduct another nuclear test to coincide with upcoming North Korean anniversaries, including the 105th birthday of its founding leader, Kim Il Sung.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump in a phone call on Wednesday that Beijing is willing to work with Washington on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, but wants a peaceful solution.
Xi told Trump that China insists on peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and wants to find a solution to the problem through peaceful means.
Trump and other US officials have repeatedly called on China to leverage its status as North Korea’s biggest economic partner and source of food and fuel aid to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
However, Beijing also says it will not countenance measures that could bring about a collapse of the regime that could release a flood of refugees across its border, destabilize northeast Asia and result in a US-friendly government taking power in Pyongyang.