North Korea: US is 'escalating tension' with military exercises in peninsula

North Korean soldier is shot while defecting, South says

The statement, which called the country's nuclear program "righteous and inevitable", continued: "He boasted about the "overwhelming superiority of US power" and 'peace through strength.' But he needs to be well advised that it is the stand of the DPRK to defend our sovereignty and rights to existence and development by keeping a real balance of force with the U.S".

North Korea's Ambassador Ja Song Nam said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that this was "the worst ever situation prevailing in and around the Korean peninsula".

Along with the three carrier groups, he said the U.S. has reactivated round-the-clock sorties with nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers "which existed during the Cold War times". It has also threatened to explode another nuclear bomb above the Pacific Ocean. The North's drills are expected to run from December to April, according to the South Korean military.

In an effort to rally global pressure against North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Trump had said during his speech in South Korea on Tuesday, "Do not underestimate us".

USA aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a three-carrier strike force exercise with the South Korean navy, November 12, 2017. The last time three United States carrier strike groups exercised together in the Western Pacific was in 2007.

The president appeared to be responding to a statement from North Korea's foreign ministry Saturday, which warned that, "Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance". He said the exercises raise serious concern about "the double standard" of the UN's most powerful body.

President Trump and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong un, have traded insults publicly, with the latest juvenile interaction suggesting that a mutually acceptable solution to North Korea's nuclear weapons programme is still some way off.

Addressing a press conference later, Trump declared his belief that it was possible for the two leaders to be "friends".

Ja asked Guterres to bring to the attention of the 15-member council - under the rarely used Article 99 of the UN Charter - "the danger being posed by the U.S. nuclear war exercises, which are clearly threats to worldwide peace and security".

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