Pyongyang vowed to sink the USS Carl Vinson in what it described as a "show of military force," Reuters reported citing the the newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party.
The news comes as Japan sent two destroyers for drills with the US carrier group. Two Maritime Self-Defense Force ships have left the Sasebo naval base in Nagasaki to meet up with the USS Carl Vinson-led group for joint drills following fresh ballistic missile tests in North Korea, The Japan Times reported.
The Pentagon sent the naval group from Singapore toward North Korea earlier in April amid tensions on the Korean Peninsula. US President Donald Trump said an "armada" has been sent, but the date and time of the drill remains unknown.
After it turned out that the Carl Vinson deployed to deter North Korea did not reach the Sea of Japan reportedly because White House and Pentagon failed to communicate effectively and was spotted near Indonesia, it was reported that it will finally reach the Korean Peninsula later this month.
"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the Rodong Sinmun newspaper said as quoted by Reuters.
The North Korean newspaper called the aircraft carrier a "gross animal" and claimed a strike on it would be "an actual example to show our military's force".
Earlier, the North Korean General Staff threatened Washington with a "preemptive strike" in case of any "US' provocation;" it also vowed to strike US military bases in South Korea, Japan, the US itself and the Carl Vinson destroyer.
Meanwhile, one day after North Korea lashed out at its biggest supporter in the region China, threatening Beijing with "catastrophic consequences" for siding with the U.S. over sanctions, North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier steaming toward the Korean penninsula to demonstrate its military might, as two Japanese navy ships joined a U.S. carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific.
the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary. The paper compared the aircraft carrier to a "gross animal" and said a strike on it would be "an actual example to show our military's force". The commentary was carried on page three of the newspaper, after a two-page feature about leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a pig farm.
North Korea declared in a series of statements Saturday that “U.S. muscle-flexing can never browbeat DPRK,” threatening “a nuclear war” against the U.S. if it is attacked.
“The DPRK will react to a total war with an all-out war, a nuclear war with nuclear strikes of its own and surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the U.S. imperialists,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman wrote in one of three missives, echoing the message delivered by a top official at a massive military parade in Pyongyang on April 15.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman accused Trump administration officials of “spouting a load of rubbish” and “seeking to bring nuclear aircraft carrier strike groups one after another to the waters off the Korean Peninsula,” an apparent reference to the impending arrival of the USS Carl Vinson carrier group to the region.
The recent escalation in tension will be front in center in Washington on Monday. Diplomatic sources tell CBS News that U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley will escort Security Council members to Washington for a series of meetings with members of Congress before heading to the White House for a photo-op and lunch with President Trump. The high-profile visit will give U.N. diplomats an unusually high level of access to the president.
The new threat comes in response to shows of force by the U.S. and its ally South Korea. Vice President Mike Pence declared “the era of strategic patience is over” on a recent trip to South Korea, where tens of thousands of U.S. troops are stationed. Haley told reporters on Tuesday that “we are not trying to pick a fight, so don’t try and give us one.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the Trump administration is reviewing whether to add North Korea to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
On Thursday, the Security Council issued a strongly worded condemnation of North Korea over its latest missile test. The statement, negotiated by the U.S., included a call for “dialogue” with Pyongyang at the request of Russia. The non-binding statement was significant due in part to the support of China, North Korea’s closest ally.
The council said North Korea’s illegal missile and nuclear activities “are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond” and expressed “utmost concern” at its “highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance” of six U.N. sanctions resolutions.
The U.N.’s most powerful body demanded an immediate end to the North’s nuclear and missile tests and threatened to take “further significant measures” implying the imposition of new sanctions.