A military official in North Korea is warning the United States that it could launch a preemptive strike if tensions between the two nations don’t ease soon.
In particular, President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, including his tweets on Twitter, are leading to a “vicious cycle” of tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, according to the Associated Press.
“Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words,” Vice Minister of North Korean foreign policy Han Song Ryol said during a recent interview. “It’s not the DPRK but the U.S. and Trump that makes trouble,” he added.
Han also said that his country could continue testing its nuclear capabilities in the near future. “That is something that our headquarters decides,” he said.
The charges from Han come amid rising tensions following North Korea’s recent testing of ballistic missiles and the military response by the U.S. to send war ships to the Korean peninsula. According to a recent NBC report, intelligence officials have suggested that the U.S. could launch a preemptive conventional assault on North Korea if it intends to conduct nuclear bomb tests in the future. Such a test could happen this weekend, officials have said.
Earlier this week, North Korea also suggested it could launch an attack of its own if provoked, warning that it was prepared to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. if provoked by signs of impending military action.
Other world leaders have attempted to de-escalate the situation, including China. “We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory or threatening statements and deeds to prevent the situation on the Korean Peninsula from becoming irreversible,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday.
President Trump suggested earlier this week on Twitter that if China didn’t act on North Korea the U.S. was prepared to do so.
I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2017