On Sunday, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the nation was going to boost its nuclear arsenal to defend against the threat of the United States. KCNA quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying that North Korea’s nuclear weapons are justified based on the U.S. hitting a Syrian airbase with 59 Tomahawk missiles in retaliation of the Syrian regime’s deadly chemical gas attack against its own people.
“Some forces are loud-mouthed that the recent U.S. military attack on Syria is an action of warning us but we are not frightened by it,” the report said.
It also added that the North’s “tremendous military muscle with a nuclear force as its pivot” will be able to defend against any U.S. aggression.
“We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defense to cope with the U.S. evermore reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force,” it continued.
North Korea has expressed outrage over multiple actions taken by the United States, including the joint military exercises with South Korea in the Korean Peninsula.
Just this weekend, the U.S. Navy strike group Carl Vinson, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, headed towards the Western Pacific Ocean to the Korean Peninsula in a show of force in response to the recent provocations by North Korea.
A press release from the U.S. Navy stated “Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, has directed the Carl Vinson Strike Group to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore April 8.”
It went on to say that the strike group “will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia.”
While it is not out of the ordinary for U.S. aircraft carriers to visit the area, this redirected trip is directly aimed towards North Korea as a show of force. The U.S. has had a significant presence in the region for the last 70 years.
The ships that make up the strike group are the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) the guided missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).