North Korea threatens nuclear attack in response to this

July 24, 2023
Robert Ayers

North Korea's defense minister just threatened to launch a nuclear attack against the United States in response to the deployment of the USS Kentucky to South Korea. 

According to Business Insider, the North Korean defense minister, Kang Sun-nam, made the threat on Thursday in a statement that he provided to state media.

Here's what precipitated the threat:


The statement was in response to the U.S.'s deployment of the USS Kentucky, an Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine. The submarine arrived at a port in Busan, South Korea on Tuesday.

This is the first time that the U.S. has sent a nuclear submarine to the region in about four decades - since 1981.

The U.S. did so as an act of deterrence, particularly in light of the recent threats that North Korea has posed to the region. Sending the USS Kentucky to the region was part of a recent deal that was reached between U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

When the vessel arrived on Tuesday, the South Korean president decided to take a tour of it, and he used the opportunity to make a statement in which he said that any "nuclear provocation" by North Korea would lead to the end of North Korea's regime.

North Korea responds

In his statement, the North Korean defense minister essentially said that America's deployment of the USS Kentucky to the region could justify a nuclear response from North Korea.

"[T]he ever-increasing visibility of the deployment of the strategic nuclear submarine and other strategic assets may fall under the conditions of the use of nuclear weapons specified in the DPRK [North Korea] law on the nuclear force policy," Kang said.

He added, "The DPRK’s doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons allows the execution of necessary action procedures in case a nuclear attack is launched against it or it is judged that the use of nuclear weapons against it is imminent."

Kang went on to try to make the argument that the deployment of the USS Kentucky "shows that the U.S. scenario for a nuclear attack upon the DPRK and its implementation has entered the most critical stage of visualization and systemization."

"End of its regime"

Seoul's defense ministry responded to Kang's threat in a statement that it released on Friday.

In that statement, the ministry said, "any nuclear attack on the alliance will face an immediate, overwhelming, and decisive response."

As a result, the ministry said that "the North Korean regime will face its end."

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