The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) says the deployment of three nuclear-capable US aircraft carriers to the Korean Peninsula has increased the risk of a nuclear war.
American and South Korean warships launched war games off the coast of the Korean Peninsula on Saturday in an unusually strong display of force aimed at North Korea.
The November 11-14 joint drills in the western Pacific involve three US aircraft carriers -- USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt -- and seven South Korean warships including three destroyers, according to the South Korean defense ministry.
On Monday, North Korea's UN Ambassador Ja Song-nam said in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres that the US aircraft carrier groups have taken up “a strike posture" which has created "the worst ever situation" around the peninsula.
He also said the United States has started round-the-clock flights with B-52 strategic nuclear bombers "which existed during the Cold War times."
Ja said "the large-scale nuclear war exercises and blackmails, which the US staged for a whole year without a break ... make one conclude that the option we have taken was the right one and we should go along the way to the last."
The US Air Force is reportedly preparing to place its fleet of B-52 bombers rigged with nuclear weapons on 24-hour alert for the first time since 1991 amid escalating tensions with North Korea.
The North Korean leader ordered the production of more rocket warheads and engines in August, shortly after the United States suggested that its threats of military action and sanctions were having an impact on Pyongyang’s behavior.
Pyongyang says it will not give up on its nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward the country and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.
Analysts say US threats against North Korea are counterproductive and justify Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs that it insists are for self-defense. They say Trump's rhetoric could have an opposite effect, intensifying the deteriorating situation in the Korean Peninsula.
A former American Senate foreign policy adviser has said the risk of war between the United States and North Korea has increased.
James Jatras made the remarks in a recent interview with Press TV after General David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, reportedly announced that the US would rebuild and update old B-52 nuclear bombers and put them on high alert amid threats from North Korea.
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