Just two days after North Korea threatened a nuclear strike against the United States and a few hours after a report that has since been disputed by the Pentagon stating that the U.S. was planning a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, a North Korean official has said that the situation is now in a “vicious cycle,” placing the blame on President Trump’s inability to put down his phone and stop fucking tweeting.
In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press that certainly did not make me fumble for the Xanax, Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said that that “Pyongyang won’t ‘keep its arms crossed’ in the face of a pre-emptive strike by US” and that President Trump’s penchant for firing off dangerous and hubristic tweets about taking care of North Korea is doing nothing more than “making trouble.”
On Saturday, North Korea will celebrate the “Day of the Sun,” which marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung. Reuters reports that satellite images on Wednesday indicated that there was activity around a nuclear test site on the east coast of Korea, perhaps in preparation for a new test. However, the AP says that many believe that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities aren’t quite there yet—they will likely have a viable nuclear warhead and a ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States in a few years, but just not right at this moment.
Granted, as Reuters wryly points out “North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and South Korea.” Just because that’s true doesn’t make this shit any less unsettling. In other fun news, the AP notes that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thinks that North Korea could be capable of firing a sarin gas-laden missile towards Japan.
Update (April 14 12:35 A.M.) Reuters is reporting that Vice President Mike Pence is on his way to Seoul on Sunday as the first stop of a 10 day tour of Asia. Aides to Pence said that this trip is a sign of the “U.S. commitment to its ally in the face of rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.”
Pence plans to spend Easter with U.S. and Korean troops before meeting to “consult with the Republic of Korea on North Korea’s efforts to advance its ballistic missile and its nuclear program,” a White House foreign policy adviser said to reporters.
A tweet from the AFP also states that according to a top US official, the United States is beginning to assess military options on North Korea.