DPRK bolsters defense as US deploys warships toward Korean Peninsula

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DPRK bolsters defense as US deploys warships toward Korean Peninsula

Pyongyang says it plans to bolster its defenses, following last week’s U.S. strike on Syria. It comes as American warships are steaming towards the Korean Peninsula in an effort to “maintain readiness.”

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Washington.

DPRK bolsters defense as US deploys warships toward Korean Peninsula

Pyongyang says it plans to bolster its defenses, following last week's U.S. strike on Syria. It comes as American warships are steaming towards the Korean Peninsula in an effort to "maintain readiness." CGTN's Roee Ruttenberg reports from Washington.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea called the American strikes on Syria “reckless,” and said it justified Pyongyang’s need for nuclear weapons. In a statement broadcast on state television, a foreign ministry official said the country’s, “tremendous military muscle with a nuclear force as its pivot” will foil any aggression by the U.S.

The comments come just one day after an American Navy strike group – warships that were stationed near Singapore – began sailing towards the Korean Peninsula. The head of the U.S. Pacific Command fleet said it was in direct response to “provocations” by the DPRK a sentiment echoed on Sunday by U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser.

In early April, Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile into the East Sea. The DPRK said that was in response to the three-way military drills being held in the area, between the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea. But it was also timed just ahead of a summit between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Florida.

During their meeting, President Trump told President Xi Jinping that the U.S. would be ready to act unilaterally against the DPRK if China didn’t do more.

China shares a land border with the North. Any military action could trigger a stream of people trying to flee over that border.

China has repeatedly asked the U.S. to be cool-headed when it comes to the DPRK.  Beijing has long insisted that diplomacy – like the international six-party talks – is the best way to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. 

And in general, it warns against any increased U.S. military activity in its backyard.