In his address to soldiers, Choe Ryong Hae, a close aide to Kim Jong Un, addressed the packed square with a characteristically bellicose warning to the United States. “If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike, and we will respond to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare,” he said.
Earlier, state news agency KCNA said the Trump administration’s “serious military hysteria” had reached a “dangerous phase which can no longer be overlooked”. The United States has warned that a policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence travels to South Korea on Sunday on a long-planned 10-day trip to Asia.
China’s Global Times newspaper also rattled some cages when it said North Korea must have felt the shockwave from the 11-ton “mother of all bombs” dropped by U.S. forces on Islamic State-linked fighters in Afghanistan on Thursday. “It would be nice if the bomb could frighten Pyongyang, but its actual impact may just be the opposite.”
North Korea on Friday denounced the United States for bringing “huge nuclear strategic assets” to the region as the USS Carl Vinson strike group with a flag-ship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier steamed closer.