North Korea has strongly criticized the recent arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in South Korea, denouncing it as a provocation and raising concerns about the use of nuclear weapons for self-defense.
The situation highlights the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea emboldened by its growing nuclear arsenal.
Fueled by its advancing nuclear capabilities, North Korea has increasingly threatened to use nuclear weapons preemptively. However, experts suggest that while North Korea continues to enhance its nuclear arsenal, it is unlikely to initiate a nuclear attack first.
The North’s recent atomic threat coincided with the arrival of the USS Ronald Reagan and its battle group at South Korea’s Busan port following a US-South Korean-Japanese naval exercise in international waters.
The USS Ronald Reagan’s presence in Busan is part of an agreement to bolster temporary deployments of powerful US military assets in response to North Korea’s nuclear program.
North Korea’s official news agency, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), described the aircraft carrier’s arrival as an undisguised military provocation and accused the US of planning an attack on North Korea. It issued a warning, in line with its doctrine, that authorizes the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in response to perceived threats.
KCNA stated, “The (North Korean) doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons already opened to the public allows the execution of necessary action procedures in case a nuclear attack is launched against it or it is judged that the use of nuclear weapons against it is imminent.”
North Korea’s stance is that it had to develop nuclear weapons in response to alleged US and South Korean plans to invade. The country consistently reacts strongly to deploying US strategic assets and joint training exercises with South Korean forces.
Experts believe North Korea intentionally heightens tensions with its rivals to create a pretext for expanding its nuclear arsenal. It then uses its atomic arms as leverage to gain concessions from other countries.
North Korea’s Missile Tests: A Response to US-South Korean Defensive Drills
North Korea has conducted numerous missile tests in response to US-South Korean military drills, which Washington and Seoul insist are defensive.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons law, enacted in 2020, specifies a broad range of scenarios in which it can use nuclear weapons, including when it perceives an imminent attack on its leadership or needs to prevent a catastrophic crisis for its people and government.
Both the US and South Korea have warned that any attempt by North Korea to use nuclear weapons would end Kim Jong Un’s regime.
In addition to its criticism of the US, North Korea accused the U.S. of spreading “groundless and false rumors that Hamas had used North Korean weapons in its recent attack on Israel.
Some media outlets, including Radio Free Asia, had reported on Hamas’ suspected use of North Korean weapons, such as F-7 high-explosive fragmentation rockets.
North Korea deemed these allegations part of the US’s ongoing smear campaign to link the recent Middle East crisis to North Korea.
In an article attributed to Ri Kwang Song, a commentator on international affairs, North Korea accused the US administration’s reptile press bodies and quasi-experts of spreading these rumors.
Source: AP via Yahoo News