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North threatens to ‘wipe out’ South and U.S.

Apr 25,2017
As a U.S. Navy strike group led by the third Nimitz-class supercarrier USS Carl Vinson nears South Korean waters, a spokesman for the North’s Central Committee of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League said Sunday, “the five million youth vanguard of the DPRK are hardening their will to wipe out” the South Korean and U.S. allied forces.

DPRK stands for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The statement, issued through the characteristically bombastic state-run Korean Central News Agency, came two days before the 85th anniversary of the North’s Korean People’s Army, which falls today. North Korea’s youth, the unidentified spokesman said, are “keeping themselves fully combat ready to mercilessly wipe out with five million nuclear bombs the group of devils who are trying to bring a nuclear disaster to the inviolable country.”

It added that U.S. imperialists should know the “earth will break” if the North’s invincible nuclear force and five million youth league members vent their wrath. If the “enemies show a slight provocation,” the North said it would “liberate South Korea at a go and wipe out all the strongholds of the empire of evil beyond the Pacific.”

The threat came as North Korean analysts Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu wrote last Friday on 38 North, a website run by a research institute at Johns Hopkins University, that recent commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site showed “probable trailers near the North Portal,” where a sixth atomic detonation seems to be prepared.

“While no recent dumping is observed, there are at least five mining carts along the tracks leading to the spoil pile and one probable small equipment trailer adjacent to the support building,” according to the report.

It remains unclear when exactly the USS Carl Vinson and its escort vessels will arrive in South Korea’s East Sea; today was the expected date, as told by several sources from the Ministry of National Defense last week.

The Japan Times reported Sunday that Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force launched joint drills with the Vinson strike group in the Western Pacific earlier that day. The paper quoted a Japanese military official as saying that the participating Japanese destroyers, Samidare and Ashigara, would “practice cruising in tactical formation and test communications procedures” with the U.S. ships during the drill.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]