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Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and North Korea for weeks. Now, it appears they have reached a boiling point.

This week, President Donald Trump sent the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula. Once North Korea learned of this, they released a statement making it clear that they have no intention of backing down.

“We will hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions,” a spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said, according to Fox News.

This came after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian air base in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack carry a message for any nation operating outside of international norms. Though he did not specifically mention North Korea, it was clear that he was talking about them.

“If you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken,” Tillerson said.

Gordon Chang, an expert on North Korea, said last week’s air strike on Syria “tells North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that he must now heed American military power, something that he probably dismissed before.”

“Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, disappeared from public view for about six weeks in 2003 at the time of the Iraq war. Kim Jong-Un loves the public spotlight, and it will be telling if he similarly goes into hiding,” he said.

Chang added that the air strikes are “a warning to China’s People’s Liberation Army, which had grown dismissive of the U.S. Navy and Air Force.  Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader visiting Mar-a-Lago, almost certainly interpreted the strike as a sign of disrespect to him.”

North Korea has said many times that they believe the U.S. is preparing some kind of assault against them. They try to use this to justify their nuclear missile tests, saying they are just trying to defend themselves.

“This goes to prove that the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario,” the North’s statement said. “If the U.S. dares opt for a military action, crying out for ‘preemptive attack’ and ‘removal of the headquarters,’ the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.”

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