Threatening the United States with military action, North Korea on Sunday said that it is ready to destroy a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier deployed in Korean waters, with a single strike. The threat from Pyongyang came as two Japanese navy ships joined a US carrier group for exercises in western Pacific waters.
US President Donald Trump had ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula earlier this month, after tensions hightened with North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests. Pyongyang has also issued multiple threats to attack the US and its Asian allies Japan and South Korea.
North Korea's ruling Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Sunday mentioned in a commentary that Pyongyang's forces are ready to sink a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the paper mentioned. It also likened the US carrier to a "gross animal" and added that a strike on the carrier would be "an actual example to show out military force," Reuters reported.
Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, commented on the commentary during his visit to Greece, and appealed for calm, while adding that there was already enough evidence of shows of force between the nations.
"We need to issue peaceful and rational sounds," Wang said, according to a statement issued by China's Foreign Ministry.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday North Korea's recent statements were provocative, but had proven to be hollow in the past and should not be trusted.
"We've all come to hear their words repeatedly; their word has not proven honest," Mattis told a news conference in Tel Aviv, before the latest threat to the aircraft carrier.
North Korea has carried out a total of five nuclear tests so far, and according to an expert satellite imagery analysis, Pyongyang may be preparing for a sixth test soon.