North Korea could reduce a U.S. strike force to a sea wreck if it’s provoked, the country’s propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. With the threat of a nuclear test in North Korea looming and another U.S. citizen reportedly detained there, China’s President Xi Jinping is urging President Trump to avoid escalating the situation.The two leaders spoke by phone Monday, according to Chinese state media CCTV, which reports that Xi told Trump he “hopes all parties remain restrained instead of intensifying the situation.” The phone call comes amid threats from North Korea that it will sink a U.S. Navy strike group that’s led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier; it also follows reports from a North Korean university that one of its lecturers, who holds U.S. and South Korean citizenship, has been detained. There is wide speculation that North Korea could be planning to carry out a nuclear test on Tuesday, timed to coincide with a celebration of its military’s founding anniversary.
On Monday, North Korea issued new threats against the U.S., which it accuses of plotting an invasion. From South Korea’s Korea Herald comes this description of the regime’s reaction to American warships sailing closer to the peninsula: