The U.S. and its allies are bracing themselves for possible provocations as North Korea gears up for a major national holiday.
North Korea will celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army Tuesday. North Korea marked its most recent holiday, the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, on April 15 with a massive military parade, a video featuring a simulated nuclear strike on an American city, and a missile test. Balloons and carnival games apparently just aren’t good enough for young dictator Kim Jong Un.
More provocations may come as the North celebrates the founding of the military.
President Donald Trump spoke with both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Sunday night in emergency calls focused on the threat posed by North Korea. The Japanese prime minister described the conversation as “intense.”
“The North Korean nuclear and missile problem is an extremely serious security threat,” Abe told reporters in Tokyo after the phone conversation with Trump, the Associated Press reports.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry has stated that the North appears prepared to conduct “strategic provocations” at any time. The South Korean military has been instructed to maintain an “immediate response posture.”
North Korea has launched eight missiles since February. The North has also tested multiple high-thrust rocket engines, potentially for an intercontinental ballistic missile, and there has been a lot of activity around the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, leading some observers to conclude that North Korea will soon conduct a sixth nuclear test in the near future.
The North has threatened war with the U.S. and its allies numerous times in recent weeks, vowing to obliterate U.S. troops and destroy American bases. Pyongyang threatened Sunday to sink Trump’s armada, a U.S. Navy carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson moving into waters off Korea.
“Our military is keeping an eye on the movement of enemy forces while putting them in our nuclear sights,” the North warned several weeks ago, adding, “Should the U.S. lose rationality and make the slightest movement to conduct preemptive strikes against us, our mighty nuclear weapons will obliterate the strongholds of invasion and provocation.”
“The U.S. must realize that … the preemptive strike is not an exclusive right to the U.S.,” North Korea further stated.
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(Source : nationalinterest.org)