Pyongyang was celebrating the first anniversary of Kim Jong-un ascending to the chairmanship of the Workers' Party of Korea, a position to which he was elected in early May 2016.
The North’s state media organ, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), applauded Kim for helping the country weather what it views as aggression from Washington, saying, "The US and its followers adhered to its largest-ever nuclear threats and scheme for pressure and sanctions to rob us of everything we cherish. But our line of defense is an impregnable fortress," according to Yonhap News Agency.
Kim was elected at a rare party congress, and it was decided that his antecedents would be able to hold their titles posthumously. This meant that his father, Kim Jong-il, would remain the "eternal general secretary" and his grandfather Kim Il-sung would remain the "eternal president."
Washington has leveled a number of sanctions against Pyongyang for its ongoing ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, and recently has riled the North by sending a Navy carrier strike group and a nuclear powered submarine near the Korean Peninsula.
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, published an editorial in response, saying, "Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike … The United States should not run amok and should consider carefully any catastrophic consequence from its foolish military provocative act."
The vessels are in place as part of annual joint military drills with South Korea, drills that the North sees as a dry run for an invasion and removal of its top leadership. Washington has also deployed its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) in South Korea, which has recently been made operational.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has maintained that its nuclear program is meant to counteract possible military action from the US, with the party’s newspaper writing in a separate piece, "At a time when we are going eyeball to eyeball with the US, the current grave situation on the peninsula calls for ceaselessly marching toward implementing tasks unveiled at the party congress," adding that the US, under President Donald Trump, "should first have correct understanding about us. We cherish nuclear deterrents and will not give up them whatever people say."