North Korea to US: Be ready for ‘all-out war’
According to Rapporteur Report From, Press TV, Link, During an interview with the BBC on Monday, North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol stressed that any manner of military action by the US against his country would result in war.
“We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis," he added. “If the US is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method."
North Korean army on maximum alert
Sin Hong-chol, another deputy foreign minister, noted that the North’s army was on "maximum alert" during a trip by US Vice President Mike Pence to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), located between the North and South.
US Vice President Mike Pence (C) and his wife Karen Pence (in white jacket) inspect the honor guard upon their arrival at the National Cemetery in Seoul on April 16, 2017.
“If we notice any sign of assault on our sovereignty, our army will launch merciless military strikes against the US aggressors, wherever they may exist, from the remote US lands to the American military bases on the Korean Peninsula, such as those of Japan and elsewhere," said Sin. “The nuclear weapon in our possession is not illusion; it is not a commodity that may be traded for American dollars - nor is it for sale. So it cannot be put on the negotiating table with the aim to rip it off," he added.
During his visit to the DMZ, Pence refereed to the US’s “iron-clad alliance” with South Korea and stated that Washington would try to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula through strength.
He further warned the North that "all options are on the table as we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of South Korea."
North ready for all-out war
Meanwhile, North Korean Deputy Ambassador to the UN Kim In-Ryong told a press conference in New York that Pyongyang was ready for "any mode of war," while stressing that the North would react to a missile or nuclear strike "in kind."
North Korea Deputy United Nations Ambassador Kim In-Ryong speaks to the media at the UN on April 17, 2017 in New York City.
"If the United States dares opt for a military action (...) the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans… "We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs," he said.
US: No ‘red lines’ on the North
While addressing the Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted that he did not anticipate any "red lines" coming from the US over North Korea.
“Drawing red lines hasn’t really worked in the past,” he said, adding that he would not be divulging the government’s planned response to Pyongyang’s actions.
He added the US President Donald Trump "holds his card close to the vest, and I think you’re not going to see him telegraphing how he’s going to respond to any military or other situation going forward.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a joint press conference after talks with his Russian and Syrian counterparts in Moscow on April 14, 2017.
Russia warns US against unilateral action on Pyongyang
Also on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the US against any "unilateral action" against the North, saying any response to Pyongyang's nuclear activities should not violate "international law."
On Sunday, the US and South Korean military officials reported that Pyongyang's latest missile test had failed earlier in the day, with the projectile exploding almost immediately after the launch.
The USS Carl Vinson, the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E Meyer and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain participate in an exercise with Japanese destroyers in March. (Photo by EPA)
Last week, a US aircraft carrier-led strike group set course for the Western Pacific Ocean close to the Korean Peninsula amid growing fears over the North’s weapons tests.
Washington has voiced concerns over Pyongyang’s tests, but the North says such launches are an act of deterrence against a potential invasion by the US or South Korea.