North Korea Pledges to "React to Any Mode of War Desired by the Americans"

by PATRICK GOODENOUGH April 18, 2017

United States' policy in the Korean peninsula has created "a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute," North Korea's deputy ambassador to the U.N. said in New York on Monday.

"The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans," Kim In Ryong told reporters at U.N. headquarters, using the acronym for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He said North Korea was "unfazed" and "undaunted" by the Trump administration, which he accused of deploying one strategic strike means after another in South Korea while "trumpeting about peace by strength."

North Korea will never beg for peace, but will take "the toughest counteractions against the provocateur" and hold the U.S. "wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences [of] its outrageous actions."

"The United States introduced in South Korea - the Korean peninsula, the world's biggest hotspot - the huge nuclear strategic asset, seriously stretching the peace and security of the peninsula, and pushing the situation there to the brink of war," Kim said.

"It has been creating a dangerous situation in which thermonuclear war may break out at any moment on the peninsula, and pose a serious threat to world peace and security, to say nothing of those in north-east Asia."

Kim also read excerpts from a statement issued earlier by the Korean People's Army, which referred to President Trump's cruise missile attack against a Syrian airbase being intended as a warning message to Pyongyang.

It said the U.S. was pursuing a path of "open threat and blackmail" directed at North Korea, but that its "brigandish" moves would be foiled by the North Korean army and people.

Elsewhere in his presentation, Kim accused the U.S. of pursuing "world hegemony" and acting against " those countries aspiring after independence against imperialism with differing ideas and social systems."

As a result, he said, "instability and the danger of nuclear war are now escalating on Earth."

It was therefore "entirely just" for North Korea to have access to nuclear weapons for self-defense, since it is directly exposed to the U.S. nuclear threat.

Pyongyang objects to plans by the U.N. Security Council to hold a meeting later this month on the situation on the Korean peninsula. The U.S. holds the council's rotating presidency and, signaling the priority it is giving to the matter, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to chair the session.

Kim complained that North Korea has been trying to get the Security Council to hold a hearing to discuss its views on the situation, but has been getting no response to its written requests.

The Kim Jong-un regime on Saturday displayed its military forces and hardware at a massive parade marking the anniversary of the birthday of the state's founder, Kim Il-sung.

An attempted weekend ballistic missile launch failed almost immediately, according to the U.S. military.

Earlier a U.S. Navy carrier strike group was diverted to waters off the Korean peninsula, where tensions have been rising for weeks over missile test-launches and concerns another nuclear test - a sixth since 2006 - may be looming.

The standoff between the U.S. and North Korea over the nuclear weapons programs has dragged on for decades. Efforts to resolve it, including the Clinton administration's "Agreed Framework" in 1994; the six-party joint statement on denuclearization negotiated under the Bush administration in 2005; and the Obama administration's 2012 "Leap Day deal," all came to nothing, as have multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

During a weekend visit to South Korea and the DMZ, Vice-President Mike Pence reiterated the administration's stance that "the era of strategic patience is over."

He underlined the firm resolve to ensure the security of the U.S. and its allies, but also expressed the hope that through increased diplomatic and economic pressure, including pressure from countries like China, the crisis could be resolved peacefully.

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Patrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. From October 2006 to July 2007, Patrick served as Managing Editor at the organization's world headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Now back in the Pacific Rim, as International Editor he reports on politics, international relations, security, terrorism, ethics and religion, and oversees reporting by's roster of international stringers.

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