News / Asia

N. Korea Threatens South with 'Final Destruction'

North Korean soldiers ride escalator past a model of the Unha Rocket alongside so-called "Kimjongilia" flowers at an exhibition in Pyongyang, Feb. 17, 2013.
North Korean soldiers ride escalator past a model of the Unha Rocket alongside so-called "Kimjongilia" flowers at an exhibition in Pyongyang, Feb. 17, 2013.
Reuters
North Korea threatened South Korea with "final destruction" during a debate at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, saying it could take further steps after a nuclear test last week.
 
"As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger," North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong told the meeting. "South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction."
 
Jon's comments drew quick criticism from other nations, including South Korea, France, Germany and Britain, whose ambassador Joanne Adamson said such language was "completely inappropriate" and the discussion with North Korea was heading in the wrong direction.
 
"It cannot be allowed that we have expressions which refer to the possible destruction of U.N. member states," she said.
 
Spanish Ambassador Javier Gil Catalina said the comment left him stupefied and appeared to be a breach of international law.
 
"In the 30 years of my career I've never heard anything like it and it seems to me that we are not speaking about something that is even admissible, we are speaking about a threat of the use of force that is prohibited by Article 2.4 of the United Nations charter," Catalina said.
 
Since the North tested a nuclear bomb last week in defiance of U.N. resolutions, its southern neighbor has warned it could strike the isolated state if it believed an attack was imminent.
 
Pyongyang said the aim of the test was to bolster its defenses given the hostility of the United States, which has led a push to impose sanctions on North Korea.
 
"Our current nuclear test is the primary countermeasure taken by the DPRK in which it exercised its maximum self-restraint," said North Korean diplomat Jon.
 
"If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward the DPRK to the last, rendering the situation complicated, [North Korea] will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession," he said, without indicating what these steps might entail.
 
North Korea has already told key ally China that it is prepared to stage one or two more tests this year to force the United States into diplomatic talks, a source with direct knowledge of the message told Reuters last week.
 
'Offensive'
U.S. Ambassador Laura Kennedy said she found North Korea's threat on Tuesday profoundly disturbing and later tweeted that it was "offensive."
 
Poland's representative suggested North Korea's participation in the U.N. forum should be limited.
 
Impoverished and malnourished, North Korea is one of the most heavily sanctioned states in the world. It is still technically at war with South Korea after a 1950-53 civil war ended in a mere truce.
 
Washington and its allies are believed to be pushing to tighten the noose around North Korea's financial transactions in a bid to starve its leadership of funding.
 
Jon said last week's test was an act of self-defense against nuclear blackmail by the United States, which wanted to block North Korea's economic development and its fundamental rights.
 
"It is the disposition and firm will of the army and people of the DPRK to counter high-handed policy with tough-fist policy and to react to pressure and sanctions with an all-out counter-action,'' he said.
 
Jon said the United States had conducted most of the nuclear tests and satellite launches in history, and he described its pursuit of U.N. Security Council resolutions against North Korea as "a breach of international law and the height of double standards."
 
Neither Russia nor China, which are veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, spoke at Tuesday's meeting in Geneva.
 
Before its nuclear test, North Korea was already facing growing diplomatic pressure at the United Nations.
 
The U.N. Human Rights Council is widely expected to order an inquiry next month into its leaders' responsibilities for crimes against humanity.

You May Like

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 20, 2013 3:36 AM
It must be beneficial for North Korea not to participate in international armament race but to join a international community through peaceful diplomacy.


by: dan from: FtLauderdale,Florida USA
February 19, 2013 4:45 PM
North Korea collaborates with Iran on their NUKES so if this happens to escalate it could get real ugly real quick.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid