North Korea calls U.S. aircraft carrier dispatch “reckless” and “outrageous”

Click to play video: 'North Korea ‘ready for war’ with United States'
North Korea ‘ready for war’ with United States
WATCH ABOVE: Pyongyang cites "reckless moves" by the U.S., including deploying a Navy strike force to waters around the Korean peninsula, as reason for it to be "ready for war." – Apr 11, 2017

North Korea is vowing tough counteraction to any military moves that might follow the U.S. move to send the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula.

The statement from Pyongyang comes as tensions on the divided peninsula are high because of U.S.-South Korea wargames now underway and recent ballistic missile launches by the North. Pyongyang sees the annual maneuvers as a dress rehearsal for invasion, while the North’s missile launches violate UN resolutions.

“We will hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions,” a spokesman for its Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying by the state-run Korean Central News Agency late Monday.

READ MORE: North Korea calls U.S. strikes on Syria an ‘unforgivable act of aggression’

The statement comes just after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said 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.

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WATCH: U.S. Navy strike group move toward Korea

Click to play video: 'U.S. Navy strike group move toward Korea'
U.S. Navy strike group move toward Korea

He didn’t specify North Korea, but the context was clear enough.

“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 told ABC’s “This Week.”

WATCH: U.S. aware of possible growing threat by North Korea

Click to play video: 'U.S. aware of possible growing threat by North Korea'
U.S. aware of possible growing threat by North Korea


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The North has long claimed the U.S. is preparing some kind of assault against it and justifies its nuclear weapons as defensive in nature.

“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.”

North Korea’s formal name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

READ MORE: Canada worried about North Korea’s ‘dangerous and unstable’ regime: Trudeau

U.S. Navy ships are a common presence in the Korean region and are in part a show of force. On Saturday night, the Pentagon said a Navy carrier strike group was moving toward the western Pacific Ocean to provide more of a physical presence in the region.

President Donald Trump‘s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, described the decision to send the carrier group as “prudent.”

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