Even as the U.S. government continues to warn North Korea to take a more soft lined approach to the festering disagreements with South Korea and the U.S. itself, the latter has not given any indication that it is willing to do so. In fact, the North Korean government's official mouthpiece, The Rodong Sinmun, has issued a direct threat to the U.S. The Working Party's official newspaper has categorically warned the U.S of a massive pre-emptive strike that is capable of causing immense damage to the U.S. mainland. It has claimed that a new weapon that has recently been completed by the North Korean forces can 'reduce to ashes' major parts of the U.S. Clearly, the threat and the warning of use of force is not going down well with the U.S., South Korea or any nations that are averse to the use of nuclear warfare.
Trump's 'armada' comment escalates tensions
The warning from the North Koreans may be seen as an off- shoot of President Trump's statement last week about sending an 'armada' towards the nation as a warning. The Pacific Command clarified that the USS Carl Vinson, which was the armada in question was not near North Korea at present but completing a training session with Australia. Following the President's statement, North Koreans have clearly stated that the U.S. 'should not mess' with them.
South Korea keen on show of strength
Meanwhile, South Korea is keen on giving a show of strength in a bid to deter its North counterpart from launching any military attacks. In conjunction with the U.S. military forces, whose support it has, South Korea has been conducting training exercises as it does annually. However, this year these exercises are more intensive. According to South Korean military sources, the move is aimed at subduing North Korea's intent to provoke the South into warfare. However, with the presidential elections coming up, the final decision on the stance to take will be left to the candidate who emerges victorious.
Meanwhile China has thrown its own spanner into the works by claiming that the U.S. supplied THAAD missile defense system that South Korea hopes to test soon interferes with its own radars. While South Korea has given indications that it will go ahead with testing this system, China is not happy with the decision and has made it abundantly clear that they oppose the move.