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PYONGYANG, July 11. /TASS/. The tense situation persists on the Korean Peninsula "due to the fault of the United States," a representative of North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
"US deliberately aggravates the situation in the region by sending strike groups, including USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, USS Mississippi nuclear-powered submarine and strategic bombers," the diplomat said. At the same time, Washington plans to send 12 F-16 fighter aircraft to South Korea to participate in maneuvers that will "train technique of delivering strikes at main military facilities of North Korea," he added. Pyongyang also criticized Washington’s decision to deploy THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea "will not passively watch how US undermines peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and will take decisive measures," he warned.
Statement by North Korea’s General Staff
The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said earlier on Monday that North Korea will take "the most decisive physical counter-measures" in response to deployment of US missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea’s forces "are capable of taking consistent unrelenting and powerful actions against the United States that is preparing to unleash a war by using THAAD system," Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted the General Staff as saying. The General Staff also warned that it will "turn South Korea into the sea of fire as it agreed to deploy this system on its territory, if a corresponding order is received."
North Korea’s army will "strengthen its potential to ensure protection of peace and security not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in North East Asia," the General Staff added.
US-South Korean agreement
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry announced last week that Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy THAAD in South Korea to counter the threat from North Korea. Russia and China have spoken against the deployment of US missile defense system in South Korea. "Such actions, no matter how they are explained, very negatively affect global strategic security, adherence to which is so often discussed by Washington. They may also result in escalation of tensions in the region, new difficulties for resolving acute problems of the Korean Peninsula, including the task of its denuclearization," Russian Foreign Ministry said last Friday.