The nuclear-powered USS George Washington led an armada of warships in exercises off the Korean peninsula today, in a show of solidarity with the South that North Korea warned could have "nuclear deterrence." The military drills, code-named "Invincible Spirit," are to run through Wednesday with about 8,000 US and South Korean troops, 20 ships and submarines, and 200 aircraft. But the US isn't blowing off Pyongyang's threats: "They have ships, they have subs, they have airplanes. They are a credible threat.," says a US captain.
The North routinely threatens attacks whenever South Korea and the US hold joint military drills, which Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal for an invasion. South Korea was closely monitoring North Korea's military but spotted no unusual activity today. "Our military and people will squarely respond to the nuclear war preparation by the American imperialists and the South Korean puppet regime with our powerful nuclear deterrent," the North's government-run Minju Joson said in commentary today headlined, "We also have nuclear weapons."