North Korea has accused the United States of attempting to invade the country and threatened to launch a nuclear strike against them at the sign of any military aggression. The warning came on 13 August, three days after Washington said they had deployed B-2 stealth bombers to Guam.
According to Yonhap News Agency, Washington has insisted that the deployment of bombers was a response to heightening provocations from North Korea, including recent missile launches. However, Pyongyang hit out at the deployment of the nuclear-capable US bombers, adding that it only showed that the US wanted to invade the country.
In a statement made on the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea said: "The US attempt to invade the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) is getting ever-more reckless. The US ever-more undisguised reinforcement of the nuclear force goes to clearly prove that it is trying to make a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK."
It went on to threaten the US, stating: "The right to make a preemptive nuclear strike is not the monopoly of the US. The DPRK's revolutionary armed forces… are fully ready to deal a merciless and annihilating blow to the enemy if they make even the slightest provocation."
It went on to lash out at the US for their stance on nuclear weapons, adding that their actions went against their calls for "denuclearisation" and a "world without nuclear weapons". They noted that North Korea would continue "bolstering up its nuclear weapons" in order to fight against the US threat.
On 11 August, the US State Department updated their travel warning for North Korea, urging its citizens not to travel to the communist country. It noted that there was a "serious risk of arrest and long-term detention", due to the fact that North Korea said it would be treating US detainees in accordance with "wartime law of the DPRK".
Tensions have been rapidly increasing between the US and North Korea in recent months since the US blacklisted the North's dictator Kim Jong Un for human rights violations. One day before the North delivered its warning to the US over nuclear strikes, a spokesperson for the DPRK Foreign Ministry lashed out at the US for their report slamming religious freedom in North Korea, referring to the country as "the sworn enemy of the Korean people".
North Korea's Foreign Ministry stated: "Finding it hard to bring down the DPRK by force of arms, the US is now making last-ditch efforts to tarnish its international image and stir up the atmosphere of putting international pressure on it by kicking up the anti-DPRK 'human rights' racket. Under this situation, the DPRK will bolster up in every way its self-defensive military capabilities with nuclear deterrence in order to safeguard its power and revolution."