The USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk and USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Groups transit in formation during a joint exercise in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: US Navy via Reuters / Stephen W. Rowe

U.S. tightens exports to China’s chipmaker SMIC, citing risk of military use

North Korea said on Thursday that a US move to impose a naval blockade on North Korea would be “an act of war.”

Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency lashed out at Washington amid growing talk that the US might use warships to prevent goods and supplies from reaching North Korea by sea.

“The gang of Trump, being terrified by our accomplishment of the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula more and more close to the brink of war, acting recklessly without any sense of reason,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in an English statement picked up by Yonhap news agency.

“A naval blockade is an act of wanton violation of the sovereignty and dignity of an independent state and an act of war of aggression which cannot be tolerated,” it added.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently noted the “right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods” to and from the North after Pyongyang test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the US mainland on November 29.

South Korean academics and other analysts have also discussed using a maritime option to increase pressure on the North without resorting to war.

The Blue House denied earlier this month that Seoul and Washington are discussing a naval blockade in the aftermath of Pyongyang’s ICBM test.

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