North Korea condemns USS Carl Vinson deployment

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   April 20, 2017 at 11:37 AM
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April 20 (UPI) -- North Korea said it is not afraid of the USS Carl Vinson, following reports the aircraft carrier and its strike group had not been deployed to the Korean peninsula as announced.

Over the weekend, the fleet was being sent to the Indian Ocean to train with the Australian navy after U.S. President Donald Trump had said he was sending an "armada" to deter Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri issued a statement Thursday in a 3-minute video that derided international sanctions against the country, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

The footage included subtitles, without narration, to criticize the sanctions, then cutting to video of North Korea's recent military parade commemorating the birth anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung.

The message was clear: Pyongyang's weapons development would carry on regardless of sanctions.

North Korea also had a message for the Carl Vinson carrier group.

"The closer it approaches, the greater the impact of the effect of annihilating punishment," the statement read. "We will not allow survival for those who threaten our existence."

The propaganda statement also described sanctions as "pressure from the hostile forces beyond anyone's imagination" that paves the way for "the nuclear weapons of the United States and a pre-emptive strike" against North Korea.

On Wednesday Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun described the Carl Vinson as a "pile of garbage" and advised the United States to "refrain from acting rashly."

Last week in an interview with Fox News, Trump said he was sending an "armada" to the Korean peninsula.

"We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier," Trump said.

The statement raised tensions on the peninsula and a North Korea diplomat to the United Nations said the United States was risking nuclear war.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump's remarks.

"We have an armada going toward the peninsula. That's a fact," Spicer said.

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