Pyongyang: North Korea said it is ready to respond to aggression from the US, amid the deployment of an American nuclear aircraft carrier in waters close to the Korean peninsula.
"The situation on the Korean peninsula and in the region has reached an extremely dangerous phase due to the mad-cap nuclear war provocations of the US," the North Korean Foreign Ministry said Friday in a statement reported by state-run news agency KCNA.
"The authorities of the Trump administration are spouting a load of rubbish calling for browbeating North Korea," the statement said, adding that the US said it would deploy "a nuclear aircraft carrier and its strike groups in the waters off the Korean peninsula."
Pyongyang said it will not be frightened by these threats and that its army is closely watching US maneuvers and waiting for an order to counter any threat immediately.
The statement added that North Korea is a peace-loving country but also a nuclear power that is unafraid of war and would not hesitate to exercise all options for a counter-attack.
Tension has been escalating on the Korean peninsula since the beginning of April after Washington hinted at a pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang, which was followed by a new missile test by North Korea on 16 April, Efe news reported.
Two weeks ago, the US announced it had ordered the deployment of nuclear aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson on the Korean peninsula, a move that was interpreted as a warning against Pyongyang's arms development program.
However the carrier was at the time participating in joint exercises with Australia in the Indian Ocean.
It is now heading to the region and will carry out maneuvers in the waters of the Sea of Japan near the Korean peninsula.
Japan also sent two destroyers to participate in the maneuvers from 25 to 28 April, while Seoul is also considering participating in these combined naval drills.
Updated Date: Apr 22, 2017 14:10 PM