This unexpected shot from Pyongyang comes after weeks of escalating brinksmanship in the region.
A North Korean government minister blamed Donald Trump's aggressive tweets Friday for the "vicious cycle" of tension currently permeating the Korean peninsula, and issued a stark warning to the US that any "reckless military maneuvers" will be met with a "powerful nuclear deterrent"—just days ahead of a visit to the region by Vice President Mike Pence.
This unexpected shot from Pyongyang comes after weeks of escalating brinksmanship in the region, with the US increasing its military presence in order to send a clear message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that it will not tolerate the country's continued military buildup. China, which Trump is seeking to co-opt as a partner in this battle, warned both sides Friday that whoever starts a conflict in the region, there would be no winners.
The latest comments in this saga were made by North Korea's vice foreign minister Han Song Ryol. "If the US comes with reckless military maneuvers then we will confront it with the DPRK's pre-emptive strike," he told Associated Press. "We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a US pre-emptive strike."
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