On Monday, North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador warned that the situation on the Korean peninsula “has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment,” reports The Washington Post.
This is only a continuation of a “bombastic war of words” between the East Asian powerhouse and the U.S. that has been further developing over recent months.
North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the U.N., Kim In Ryong, informed the General Assembly’s disarmament committee that his country was now a “full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges, including the atomic bomb, H-bomb and intercontinental ballistic rockets.” In addition, he chillingly commented: “The entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range, and if the U.S. dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe.”
He continued to tell the committee that North Korea is the only country in the world that has been subjected to “such an extreme and direct nuclear threat” from the United States since the 1970s, and that the country has the right to possess nuclear weapons in self-defense. Pyongyang has released propaganda clips showing simulated attacks on the U.S.
Kim referenced large-scale military exercises every year using “nuclear assets” and mentioned that what he considers even more dangerous is his U.S. plan to stage a “secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership.”
President Trump has retaliated to these remarks on Twitter, threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea while simultaneously mocking its leader Kim Jong Un, referring to him as a “suicidal rocket man.” Kim fired back, calling the American leader a “mentally deranged dotard.” For your
For your personal lexicon, the Merriam-Webster definition of “dotard” reads: “a state or period of senile decay marked by a decline of mental poise and alertness.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has continued to pursue diplomacy. He told CNN on Sunday he would continue to engage with North Korea “until the first bomb drops.”
Business Insider notes that the USS Michigan, “a stealthy submarine laden with 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles, just arrived in the South Korean port of Busan,” noting that “it most likely carried Navy SEALs and covert submarines designed for operations deep behind enemy lines.”
Apparently, American bombers are frequently training to strike North Korean targets, while stealth jets like F-35s and F-22s are also on hand in case of conflict. There is also a US aircraft carrier “decked out with dozens of fighter and electronic attack aircraft sits just off North Korea’s shores.”
Tom Plant, the director of the proliferation and nuclear policy program at the Royal United Services Institute, said, “the U.S. always, at all times, has an overwhelming superiority over North Korea.” In other words, new jets won’t contribute much to change this fact.
“In terms of its precision-strike technology, in terms of its ability to put metal on targets,” the U.S. prevents a contest between its forces, combined with South Korea’s, and North Korea, Plant said.
Even so, a stalemate remains.
Tillerson commented that Trump “has also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. He’s not seeking to go to war.”
Ambassador Kim said that the country would continue to develop its nuclear arsenal and called it a “precious strategic asset that cannot be reversed or bartered for anything.” He also added in his prepared statement: “Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the U.S. is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table under any circumstances.”
Trump plans to visit South Korea next month and speak with President Moon Jae-in, including the country’s National Assembly.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons