NKorea warns of 'fire shower of nuclear' attack
The commentary in Pyongyang's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper was the North's latest reaction to last week's summit between President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. The allies issued a joint statement committing the U.S. to defend the South with nuclear weapons.
It also came as an American destroyer trailed a North Korean ship suspected of shipping weapons in violation of a U.N. resolution punishing Pyongyang's May 25 nuclear test, and as anticipation mounted that the North might test-fire short- or mid-range missiles in the coming days.
The North's newspaper claimed that the "nuclear umbrella" commitment made it more likely for the U.S. to mount a nuclear attack on the communist North, and only "provides us with a stronger justification to have nuclear deterrent."
It also amounts to "asking for the calamitous situation of having a fire shower of nuclear retaliation all over South Korea" in case of a conflict, the paper said.
North Korea has long claimed that the U.S. is plotting to invade it and has used the claim to justify its development of nuclear weapons. The U.S. has repeatedly said it has no intention of attacking the North.
In a separate editorial marking the 1950 outbreak of the Korean War, the Rodong said the North "will never give up nuclear deterrent ... and will further strengthen it" as long as Washington remains hostile.
The war ended in 1953 with a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided and in a state of war. The U.S. has 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect against hostilities.
Pyongyang's Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary marking the war anniversary that the U.S. should withdraw its troops from South Korea and drop its "hostile" policy toward the North, saying those are "the key to resolving the Korean peninsula issue."
Ties between the two Koreas warmed significantly after the first-ever summit of their leaders in 2000, but relations soured after the conservative Lee took office last year.
The Rodong called Lee a "hound" of the U.S. "master" in Thursday's commentary.
The new U.N. resolution seeks to clamp down on North Korea's trading of banned arms and weapons-related material by requiring U.N. member states to request inspections of ships carrying suspected cargo.
It is vanity when a few group of people hijack the will of the rest of the people of a nation. This can simply be called tyranny.
Yet there are times when tyranny of the good is preferable than the freedom of wickedness.