Carney: North Korean threats not backed up with military action

The White House says that North Korea’s threatening rhetoric is not backed up by its military actions.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that there were not any “significant changes to the mobilization of forces” in North Korea, even as Pyongyang has said the longstanding armistice with South Korea is no longer valid and declared it was entering a “state of war” on Saturday.

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"We are not seeing changes to North Korean military posture," Carney said. 

"We haven't seen action to back up the rhetoric," he added, once again criticizing the "provocative" statements from North Korea and warning they will isolate the country and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

Still, the U.S. military has made several moves toward the Korean Peninsula amid the escalating tensions.

NBC News reported Monday afternoon that the Navy is shifting an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, the USS McCain, into the Pacific toward the peninsula, where it was also deployed in December 2012.

The destroyer is equipped with an Aegis anti-ballistic missile system.

CNN also reported Monday that the SBX-1, a sea-based radar platform, was being moved closer to North Korea to monitor military moves, including missile launches.

North Korea’s rhetoric has ramped up in the weeks since the country conducted its third nuclear test in February. Pyongyang has threatened to launch nuclear attacks against both South Korea and the United States.

An annual joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States has escalated the threats in recent days.

But North Korea has frequently issued grandiose threatening statements in the past and not followed through on them, and many observers doubt that North Korea would take any serious military actions this time around, too.

Carney said Monday that North Korea’s rhetoric was “consistent with past behavior.”

As part of the military exercises, the United States flew B-2 bombers from U.S. soil to South Korea last week in a display of its military capabilities. U.S. Forces Korea also deployed F-22 fighters to South Korea on Sunday.

Carney said that the U.S. is “not at all” contributing to the tension in the Korean Peninsula.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cited reports that incorrectly named the destroyer being deployed toward North Korea. Updated at 4:32 p.m.