A South Korean report says North Korea has been reinforcing defenses on its east coast, amid a rising risk of a military confrontation with the United States.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said in a report on Tuesday that Pyongyang had been moving aircraft to its east coast and taking other measures to boost its defenses.
Tensions have recently significantly risen between North Korea and the US. The latter flew bombers over waters east of North Korea on Saturday, and Pyongyang said afterwards that it had every right to shoot down those planes.
North Korea has said that recent remarks by US President Donald Trump at the United Nations General Assembly constituted a declaration of war against Pyongyang.
“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country,” North Korea ’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said on Monday.
In his first speech at the UN General Assembly on September 19, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary.
Washington is opposed to North Korea’s advancing missile and military nuclear programs. Pyongyang says it needs those programs as a deterrent against hostility by the US and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan.
The unverified report by Yonhap further claimed that Washington appeared to have revealed the flight route of the bombers on purpose.
North Korea has not commented on the report. Neither has South Korea’s National Intelligence Service.