Nuclear tests and preemptive strikes: fears grow over North Korea escalation

DW – April 14, 2017

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol on Friday blamed US President Donald Trump for building up tensions on the Korean Peninsula with his “aggressive” words and tweets. In an interview with the news agency AP, he warned the US against provoking the country militarily.

“If the US comes with reckless military maneuvers then we will confront it with the DPRK’s pre-emptive strike,” Han said, calling North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “We will go to war if they choose.”

An April 11 tweet from Trump, saying North Korea was looking for trouble and if China did not help the US would “solve the problem without them,” was cited by Han who said it was the US that “makes trouble.”

Last weekend, a US aircraft carrier and its strike group were diverted to waters off the Korean Peninsula. The Trump administration has warned its policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over.