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article imageNorth Korea again threatens to destroy South's president's office

By Robert Myles     Nov 22, 2013 in World
Pyongyang - On Friday, North Korea marked the third anniversary of its shelling of a South Korean island close to the border of the two Koreas, with threats to unleash a “sea of fire” on South Korea’s presidential office.
Pyongyang’s latest threat came as South Korean military forces started military drills centered on Yeonpyeong Island commemorating the unprovoked attack by the North on Nov. 23, 2010, which resulted in the deaths of two soldiers and two civilians.
North Korea regularly resorts to threatening rhetoric against its southern neighbor, promising to unleash firestorms or other calamities on South Korea. The shrillness of the North’s threats is almost always in direct proportion to the extent of military maneuvers conducted by the South.
Pyongyang rarely follows up such threats with action but three years ago, on the pretext South Korea was conducting military exercises in North Korean waters, the North resorted to live fire.
In the 2010 incident, one of the worst flare-ups on the Korean Peninsula since the Korea Armistice Agreement, signed on July 27, 1953, ended the Korean conflict, Yeonpyeong Island was the target of shelling by the North Koreans.
Yeonpyeong lies just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the North Korean coast. Since the 2010 incident, South Korea has firmed up the island’s defenses, adding new missiles, anti-battery radars and helicopters. The number of military patrols has been tripled.
Following the 2010 shelling, many of Yeonpyeong’s inhabitants were evacuated but most have since returned to their homes.
In Friday’s statement, the North Korean People’s Army said, “Three years ago the baptism of retaliatory fire was limited to Yeonpyeong, but next time the presidential Blue House and all headquarters of the puppet regime will be targeted."
The Blue House, also known as Cheongwadae, meaning “The Pavilion of the Blue Tiles,” is located in Seoul, and is the name given to the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state, the president of the Republic of Korea.
The North Korean Army statement continued, "If the South recklessly provokes us again, the sea of fire at Yeonpyeong will turn into a sea of fire at the Blue House. Park Geun-Hye and her clique must find a painful lesson in the shameful defeat inflicted upon the South."
The reference to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, without the added courtesy of her title as president of the South, appears to be a calculated political insult. Pyongyang has never accepted South Korean jurisdiction over Yeonpyeong, arguing that the maritime border between the two Koreas was unilaterally drawn by United Nations forces, headed up by the United States, after the end of the Korean War.
If North Korea’s “sea of fire” threat sounds familiar, then it’s probably because the latest tirade is by no means the first time Pyongyang has used similar language. Just last year, again on the anniversary of the Yeonpyeong shelling, North Korea said it regretted not sending Yeonpyeong "to the bottom of the sea."
On the first anniversary of the Yeonpyeong attack, North Korea used similarly menacing language. In 2011, the presidential office in Seoul once again came under fire, if only verbally, from the North as an official statement said if South Korea dared: "to impair the dignity of (the North) again and fire one bullet or shell toward its inviolable territorial waters, sky and land, the deluge of fire on Yonphyong Island will lead to that in Chongwadae and the sea of fire in Chongwadae to the deluge of fire sweeping away the stronghold of the group of traitors."
More about North korea, Korean war, Pyongyang threats, Yeonpyeong attack, Blue House South Korea
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