Warning of a “horrible disaster,” North Korea placed its military on high alert on Tuesday as it continued to ramp up the rhetoric against the United States and South Korea.
Citing “imperialist aggression” and American military training maneuvers in the region, along with the moving of an aircraft carrier and other U.S. ships into a South Korean port, a spokesman for the North’s military said they were reexamining their operation plans to, “keep themselves fully ready to promptly launch operations at any time.”
"The U.S. will be wholly accountable for the unexpected horrible disaster to be met by its imperialist aggression forces' nuclear strike means," the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
“The U.S. should bear in mind that the Korean people and army are highly alerted to promptly and confidently cope and foil blatant provocations of any hostile forces in the world with its own powerful military muscle,” he added.
The reclusive communist country has often issued threats and in March they declared it was no longer bound by the armistice that ended fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War signed with the United States and China.
The impoverished country's leader Kim Jong Un, has pushed ahead with his late father Kim Jong Il's strategy of establishing North Korea as a nuclear state, no matter the cost in lost trade and international sanctions.
Defying international warnings not to build nuclear and long-range missiles and is believed to have enough fissile material to build up to 10 nuclear bombs, although most intelligence analysis says it has yet to master the technology to deploy such weapons.