The North Korean army has threatened to “ruthlessly ravage” US troops if Trump orders an airstrike — as the country prepares to show off its military might during one of the biggest celebrations of the year, according to the National Star News.
The rhetoric comes as a U.S. aircraft carrier group is headed closer to North Korea amid fears that the totalitarian state may conduct another nuclear weapons test.
“Our toughest counteraction against the U.S. and its vessel forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency quoted its military as saying in a statement.
The statement added: “The closer such big targets as nuclear powered aircraft carriers come (to the Korean peninsula), the greater would be the effect of merciless strikes.”
Amid the rising tensions, North Koreans are preparing for the country’s biggest holiday on Saturday, the national holiday Day of the Sun, commemorating the birth of the country’s founding father Kim Il Sung. A holiday usually marked by grand military parades, mass celebrations and other large displays of strength and national pride.
North Korea, which conducted two missile tests last year, will likely put its newest missiles on display during Saturday’s military parade.
US intelligence officials told NBC if the US is convinced North Korea will follow through on a test, it can preemptively deploy Tomahawk missiles from two warships parked in the region.
Experts do not believe North Korea has a deliverable long-range nuclear weapon, or intercontinental missiles.
But that could change within the next few years, as experts say North Korea could have a viable nuclear warhead and a ballistic missile capable of hitting the US mainland during Trump’s watch as president.