North Korea vows attacks without notice
SEOUL — North Korea made new threats of military action on Monday as the reclusive nation celebrated the anniversary of its founder's birth, stoking tension on the peninsula with a new “ultimatum” to South Korea in the standoff over its nuclear program.
The latest statement from Pyongyang followed threats of nuclear attacks on the United States, South Korea and Japan, after U.N. sanctions were imposed in response to Pyongyang testing a nuclear weapon in February.
“Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now,” North Korea's state news agency KCNA said, noting actions would “start immediately.”
The statement was issued by the official North Korean news agency KCNA after signs that Pyongyang may be presenting a less warlike stance on the “Day of the Sun,” the date the North's founder Kim Il-Sung was born.
Although many Pyongyang watchers had expected a big military parade to showcase North Korea's armed forces, the day was marked in Pyongyang with a festival of flowers named after Kim.
The United States has offered talks, but on the pre-condition that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. North Korea deems its nuclear arms a “treasured sword” and has vowed never to give them up.
Nevertheless, Secretary of State John Kerry, ending a trip to the region dominated by concern about North Korea, stressed his interest in a diplomatic solution.
“The United States remains open to authentic and credible negotiations on denuclearization, but the burden is on Pyongyang,” he said. “North Korea must take meaningful steps to show that it will honor commitments it has already made, and it has to observe laws and the norms of international behavior.”
On Sunday evening, Kerry appeared to open the door to talking without requiring the North to take denuclearization steps in advance. Beijing, he said, could be an intermediary.
But White House spokesman Jay Carney said North Korea would have to “commit itself in a verifiable way to denuclearization” first, which has long been the U.S. position.
The aim of the North's aggressive acts, analysts say, is to bolster the leadership of Kim Jong Un, the 30-year-old grandson of the nation's founder, or to force the United States to hold talks with the North.
The North also has been angry about annual military exercises between U.S. and South Korean forces, describing them as a “hostile” act.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. Marine found guilty of killing transgender Filipino
- Burned-out van belonged to missing Australians, Mexican prosecutors say
- World leaders show willingness to act at climate change summit
- Senators call for 20,000 more troops in Syria and Iraq
- After U.S. indictments, Chinese military scalesc back hacks on American industry
- Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
- Philippines reappraises hoard of Marcos jewelry
- Russia hits Turkey with sanctions amid frayed relations
- Climate summit spawns protest marches around world
- A third of world’s cacti threatened with extinction, report says
- Pope Francis visits mosque in war-torn Central African Republic, calls for end to conflict