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North Korea accuses US of considering preemptive strike

North Korea accuses US of considering preemptive strike
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North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of laying the foundation for a potential pre-emptive strike.

North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol said at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament that the U.S. is "deploying large nuclear assets" near North Korea in preparation for a possible pre-emptive attack, Reuters reported

"In view of the nature and scale of U.S. military reinforcements, they are designed to make a pre-emptive strike against the DPRK," Ju said, using an acronym for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

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"U.S. officials including the defense secretary and the CIA director repeatedly talked about DPRK nuclear and missile threat to justify their argument for a military option and a new concept of a so-called ‘bloody nose’, a limited pre-emptive strike on the DPRK is under consideration within the U.S. administration." 

The North Korean remarks come after the United States dropped Victor Cha, President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE's pick for ambassador to South Korea. While the White House say issues came up in Cha's background checks, Cha reportedly lost the ambassador nomination after raising concerns about a potential "bloody-nose attack" on North Korea over its nuclear program.

Trump and senior administration officials have said that a military option remains on the table for dealing with a possible threat by North Korea.

But White House officials have dismissed the notion that the U.S. is seriously considering a pre-emptive strike on the North, and have instead highlighted an international pressure campaign focusing on sanctions and diplomacy. 

Still, Trump has engaged in a bitter war of words with North Korean officials, and has threatened to "totally destroy" the country if it threatens the U.S. or its allies. 

The accusation by Ju comes as U.S. officials, including Vice President Pence, prepare to travel to South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which is set to open on Friday. Speaking to reporters during a refueling stop in Alaska on Tuesday, Pence declined to rule out a possible meeting with North Korean officials in South Korea.