In commentary published in an official state newspaper, North Korea warned Sunday that they were prepared to destroy a U.S. aircraft carrier if it sailed too close to their waters. The warning came as President Donald Trump directed the USS Carl Vinson to begin moving towards the Korean peninsula, where it is expected to carry out military exercises with our Asian allies.
“Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike,” said the commentary.
The eyes of the international community are once again on North Korea as the regime prepares for the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army. Last weekend’s national celebrations, held in honor of Kim Jong Un’s late grandfather, came and went without a nuclear test, but experts warn that Pyongyang could move forward with another test on Tuesday to mark the occasion.
If they do, it would be the sixth such test conducted by the regime, two of which came about last year. North Korea is also testing ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear payload to the mainland United States. One of those tests failed last week; some insiders believe the U.S. may have sabotaged it with some form of cyberattack, but the Trump administration has not confirmed that theory.
In a press conference from Israel, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said it was hard to take Kim Jong Un’s constant threats seriously. “We’ve all come to hear their words repeatedly,” he said. “Their word has not proven honest.”
In the North Korean newspaper commentary, the regime’s supporters wrote, “The U.S. has now gone seriously mad. It is mulling frightening the DPRK and achieving something with nuclear strategic bombers, nuclear carriers, etc. However, the army and people of the DPRK will never be browbeaten by such bluffing.”
And in a statement, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang was prepared to meet “full-out war with full-out war.”
After years of provocations from the Kim regime, it’s almost impossible to know if the North Koreans are serious about launching a preemptive strike against the U.S. or our allies. It is, in fact, that very uncertainty that Kim relies on to force the United States back to the negotiating table. No doubt, he would love to secure the kind of international deal Iran got from the Obama administration.
President Trump is unlikely to forge such a deal – at least, not one that resembles the one Obama made with Tehran. In the meantime, the administration is hoping that China will finally step up and put pressure on North Korea in such a way that Kim’s nuclear aspirations will fall by the wayside.
But if military action is required, it’s quite clear that Trump is willing to take it. Maybe that willingness itself will be enough to convince the madman in Pyongyang to stop rattling the nuclear saber.
If not…all bets are off.