Home English News North Korea criticizes US for moving warships to Korean peninsula

North Korea criticizes US for moving warships to Korean peninsula

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North Korea has sharply criticized the United States after the US Pacific Command moved a set of warships to near the Korean peninsula at the weekend.

“We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves,” a spokesman for the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told North Korean news agency KCNA.

“The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US,” the spokesman said Monday, using an alternative abbreviation for North Korea.

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On Saturday, the US warships – including the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser – cancelled a trip to Australia and headed from Singapore to the waters off Korea, as part of the US response to North Korea’s recent missile launches.

On Wednesday North Korea launched a missile into the Sea of Japan from near Sinpo in South Hamgyong province, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

North Korea has also recently ramped up its nuclear programme under its relatively new leader Kim Jong Un, carrying out two nuclear tests and launching around 20 ballistic missiles last year alone.

The international community also is concerned that North Korea could be working on an intercontinental ballistic missile, which could reach the western United States, as well as other countries closer to North Korea.

United States-based experts say that North Korea is currently planning a further nuclear test.

-dpa