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N. Korea slams US carrier's arrival

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Sunday, May 12, 2013 | 5/12/2013 09:37:00 am


NORTH Korea has criticised the arrival of the US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in a South Korean port for a joint drill as an "extremely reckless" provocation and a rehearsal for war against the
communist state.
A US naval strike group led by the nuclear-powered Nimitz arrived off the South's southern port of Busan on Saturday for a drill to be staged this week. The drill follows joint exercises that infuriated North Korea in recent months.
The 88,000 tonnes Nimitz, one of the world's largest warships, will participate in joint search-and-rescue operations as well as "sea manoeuvring" around the Korean Peninsula, the South's defence ministry said.
The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea that handles cross-border affairs called the arrival of the US fleet "a grave military provocation" that would dramatically ratchet up tension.
"The joint naval drill involving the latest weaponry including the nuclear aircraft carrier is a wanton blackmail against us and demonstrates ... that their attempt to invade us has reached an extremely reckless level," it said.
"The risk of a nuclear war in the peninsula has risen further due to the madcap nuclear war practice by the US and the South's enemy forces," the committee said in a statement carried by state-run KCNA Saturday night.
The latest joint naval drill between the two allies is expected to be staged off the South's eastern coast from Monday to Tuesday, Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed Seoul official.
Military tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high for months, with the North under the young leader Kim Jong-Un issuing a series of apocalyptic threats over what it sees as intensely provocative US-South joint exercises.


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