North Korea has accused the United States of planning an invasion amid souring relations between the two countries.
In a piece for Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pyongyang alleges that recent U.S. troop movements indicate preperation for military conflict.
“Such acts prove that the U.S. is hatching a criminal plot to unleash a war against the DPRK and commit a crime which deserves merciless divine punishment in case the U.S. fails in the scenario of the DPRK’s unjust and brigandish ‘denuclearization first,'” the paper said.
Rodong Sinmun claims it learned of the supposed plot from a South Korean radio broadcast that stated “special units” had flown to the Philippines for a drill simulating “infiltration into Pyongyang.”
The state-run newspaper also alleged the USS Michigan nuclear submarine in late July or early August transported “Green Berets, Delta Force and other special units” from Japan to a naval base in South Korea.
“We can not but take a serious note of the double-dealing attitudes of the U.S. as it is busy staging secret drills involving man-killing special units while having a dialogue with a smile on its face,” the paper added.
According to The Washington Post, Cmdr. Clay Doss, public affairs officer at the U.S. Seventh Fleet, has called North Korea’s claims “completely false.”
Col. John Hutcheson, the director of public affairs for U.S. Forces Japan, referred to Pyongyang’s report as “far fetched.”
“U.S. aircraft routinely fly from Japan to the Philippines and other nations around the region for a variety of training and operational reasons, so the notion that any single flight is related to North Korea is a bit far fetched,” Hutcheson said.
The Rodong Sinmun piece also warned the U.S. against using “gunboat diplomacy” with North Korea.
“The U.S. would be sadly mistaken if it thinks that it can browbeat someone through trite ‘gunboat diplomacy’ which it used to employ as an almighty weapon in the past and attain its sinister intention,” the paper continued.
The article comes just two days after President Donald Trump called off Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to North Korea.
In a series of Tweets Friday, Trump cited a lack of “sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization” for the cancellation.
“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the president tweeted.
Trump continued by stating both he and Pompeo would visit North Korea in the near future.
“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” the president said. “In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”