Days after a U.S. navy battle group was sent to waters off the Korean peninsula, North Korea has warned Washington of "catastrophic consequences" over any further provocations.
The decision to divert the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and other battleships came after tensions soared over ongoing military drills involving American and South Korean forces that Pyongyang regards as a precursor to an invasion, reports Guardian.
"We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions. North Korea is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US," North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
The spokesman further noted Washington's refusal to rule out a pre-emptive strike against North Korean missile sites as justification for its nuclear programme.
"The prevailing grave situation proves once again that (North Korea) was entirely just when it increased in every way its military capabilities for self-defence and pre-emptive attack with a nuclear force as a pivot," the spokesman said
He asserted that North Korea will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend itself.
North Korea had yet again defied UN resolutions banning it from developing ballistic missile technology with another test-launch on the eve of Trump's summit with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, in Florida last week.
Meanwhile, China has downplayed reports that Beijing has deployed 150,000 troops to its border with North Korea.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that she was "not aware" of such a step taken by the People's Liberation Army along the 880-mile border.