U.S. official warns of growing threat from North Korea

U. S. Air Force airmen walk toward fighter jets after Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the Incirlik Air Base near Adana Turkey

During disarmament talks in Geneva on Tuesday, North Korean diplomat Ju Yong- Chol said Washington continues to plan a pre-emptive strike, despite a recent calm in bellicose rhetoric between the arch-rivals.

A Democratic senator said Monday President Donald Trump does not possess the legal authority to order a preemptive military strike on North Korea without Congressional approval.

Noth Korea has appointed Kim Jong-gak, a vice chief of North Korea's Ministry of the People's Armed Forces, to head the military's General Political Bureau, South Korean parliamentary sources said.

Asked what the basis was for his assessment, Wood said he had "no new information to share". In December, the United Nations unanimously approved the economic punishment of the dictatorial regime after its latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, signalling it may be capable of hitting the USA mainland. In November it tested the Hwasong-15, believed to be capable of reaching the continental United States.

North Korea past year tested the Hwasong-15, a ballistic missile, which experts believe is capable of reaching US mainland, though the country isn't believed to be able to mount a nuclear device on the missile.

The accusation came hours before US Vice President Mike Pence was set to arrive in South Korea to attend the opening of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games that kick off on Friday.

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He called on the worldwide community to "proactively implement sanctions" against the North which he said poses the "most serious and imminent" threat to global security. Wood drew a lot of condemnation by representatives from both China and Russian Federation.

"Russia, China and North Korea are growing their stockpiles, increasing the prominence of nuclear weapons in their security strategies, and-in some cases-pursuing the development of new nuclear capabilities to threaten other peaceful nations", Wood said.

In retaliation to Wood's words, North Korea said the USA was planning a "pre-emptive strike" and worsening the situation by shoring up "large nuclear assets" in South Korea.

In view of the nature and scale of United States military reinforcements, they were created to make a pre-emptive strike, North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the talks.

"U.S. officials including the defence secretary and the Central Intelligence Agency director repeatedly talked about DPRK nuclear and missile threat to justify their argument for a military option and a new concept of a so-called 'bloody nose, ' a limited pre-emptive strike on the DPRK is under consideration within the US administration", Ju said.

Ju has good reason to believe this to be the case, of course, as United States media outlets have for weeks been reporting the exact same thing, that the Trump Administration is gearing up for a "bloody nose" attack on North Korea, and such a strike could come very soon.

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