Seoul: North Korea holds drill to mark military anniversary

KUHN: The U.S. has not ruled out military action.

North Korea's drills coincided with military exercises held by US and South Korean navies in the Yellow Sea, off the western coast of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea could reduce a US strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

It was part of celebrations marking the 85th anniversary of the founding of the country's military.

The harsh rhetoric continued from Pyongyang, with a top military general repeating that the North was ready to use pre-emptive strikes to defend itself.

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said those meetings called by USA officials clearly reflected the US pressure that could "ignite a full-out war" on the Korean peninsula.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against invasion and a spokesman for its foreign ministry on Tuesday claimed the meetings - coupled with Trump's fresh policy of "maximum pressure and engagement" on Pyongyang - showed the threat it faced from the US. The fleet was carrying out drills with Japanese warships.

So far, however, the Trump White House has not chosen that route but has repeatedly said "all options are on the table", implying military action was possible. "We're going to continue to be stable, we're going to continue to have the worldwide community stable", Haley said.

Haley spoke on several television networks Monday morning, praising China's involvement in trying to pressure North Korea to cease missile testing and criticized its leader, Kim Jong Un, as unstable and paranoid.

Kanasugi also said a ban on oil exports to North Korea, which would be certain to have a huge impact on the country's economy, will also be on the agenda at his meeting with Wu. "North Korea is a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve".

Japan's envoy on North Korea, Kenji Kanasugi, said after talks with his US and South Korean counterparts that they agreed China should take a concrete role to resolve the crisis and it could use an oil embargo as a tool to press the North.

Nikki Haley, Trump's United Nations ambassador, said Monday the USA wasn't looking for a fight with Kim and wouldn't attack North Korea "unless he gives us reason to do something".

North Korean men and women walk, some pushing their bicycles along a residential area on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Madden believes a nuclear test is unlikely and told CNN North Korea would probably conduct a combined forces exercise instead.

Meanwhile, the South Korea-U.S. alliance has beefed up its naval presence thanks to new deployments from the American Navy. Pictured here is China's Liaoning Greenland Energy Coal Dandong, on the border with North Korea.

State-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun said ver the weekend in an editorial the country could sink a "nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike".

"There may be politics at play but all of the people detained by North Korea have been in violation of North Korean law", he said.

"The situation prevailing on the Korean Peninsula is so tense that a nuclear war may break out due to the frantic war drills of the US imperialists and their vassal forces for aggression", Gen. Pak Yong Sik told a meeting of thousands of senior military and civilian officials.

  • Larry Hoffman