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article imageNorth Korea threatens South Korea with 'final destruction'

By JohnThomas Didymus     Feb 19, 2013 in World
Geneva - North Korea has threatened South Korea with "final destruction." The country made the threat during a debate at the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Tuesday, saying it is able to take "second and third steps" following its recent nuclear test.
According to Reuters, the North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryon, told the UN gathering: "As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction."
The North Korean diplomat said North Korea had recently taken a "resolute step for self-defense" which he described as "strong counteractions to a foreign aggressor." His statement is understood to be a reference to the recent nuclear tests the country conducted.
He added: "If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward the DPRK to the last, rendering the situation complicated, it (North Korea) will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession."
The diplomat did not elaborate on his ominous statement.
Reuters reports that Jon's comment drew criticism from representatives of other UN member nations, including South Korea. The ambassador for Britain Joanne Adamson, condemned the language, describing it as "completely inappropriate." She said that the international community's discussion with North Korea was drifting in the wrong direction.
Adamson said: "It cannot be allowed that we have expressions which refer to the possible destruction of U.N. member states."
Laura Kennedy, US ambassador, said North Korea's threat was "profoundly disturbing."
Reuters reports she said: "I also was particularly struck by the phrase 'heralding the destruction of the Republic of Korea' and find that language incredibly inconsistent with the goals and objectives that this body is intended to pursue."
NBC reports that soon after North Korea conducted its latest nuclear test in defiance of the international community, Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters that North Korea's action was "highly-provocative" and "regrettable" and that it "directly violates" security council resolution and threatens international peace. She vowed that the US would make a "a swift, credible and strong response."
The Spanish Ambassador Javier Gil Catalina, said he was astonished by the North Korean diplomat's comment, Reuters reports. He said the comment appeared to be a breach of international law. He said: "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."
The BBC reports that South Korean ambassador Kwon Haeryong, said that North Korea would better use its limited resources to take care of the needs of its people. He said: "Everybody knows that North Korea is committing enormous resources to developing nuclear weapons and a missile capability. But it is very regrettable that a chronic food shortage persists and continually threatens people."
The North Korean statement may, however, be in response to a similar threat issued by South Korea after the North carried out a nuclear test last week. South Korea had said it would not hesitate to launch a preemptive strike against the North if it believed it was about to be attacked.
The North Koreans have, however, defended their nuclear program, saying that their action is self-defensive. The country accused the US of spearheading international hostility against it. Jon said: "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."
Jon wondered why the US, a country which has conducted more nuclear and rocket tests than any other in history, would insist that another independent country should not. He described the US push for security council resolutions against North Korea as "a breach of international law and the height of double standards."
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