North Korea said it “will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors and to defend the supreme interests of the country.” Meanwhile, the UN unanimously passed new sanctions against the eccentric but nuclear-armed communist nation, with even China–which usually protects its client state by exercising vetoes–going along. The White House says not to worry, that we could shoot down a North Korean missile, if they have one that would reach us, which they supposedly don’t.
I know that North Korea is always blustering and threatening. But history has shown that it is unwise to dismiss what dictators and terrorists promise that they will do. Hitler laid out his plans quite early, but hardly anyone took him seriously, until he started carrying them out. It may take North Korea awhile to develop long-range missiles, but isn’t this evidence of what they intend to do with them? Can we afford to just laugh at the North Koreans? But can we do anything other than wait to see if they are serious?
The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed tougher sanctions against North Korea Thursday targeting the secretive nation’s nuclear program hours after Pyongyang threatened a possible “preemptive nuclear attack.”
“These sanctions will bite, and bite hard,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said after the vote.
China, North Korea’s key ally, could have used its veto power to block the sanctions. Instead, after weeks of negotiating, it signed on to the final draft.
“China is a country of principle,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong said. “We are firmly committed to safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.”
Photos: Kim Jong Un and North Korea’s military Photos: Kim Jong Un and North Korea’s military
A spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry suggested the United States “is set to light a fuse for a nuclear war.”
As a result, North Korea “will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors and to defend the supreme interests of the country,” the country said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
Despite the strong language, analysts say North Korea is years away from having the technology necessary to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile and aim it accurately at a target. And, analysts say, North Korea is unlikely to seek a direct military conflict with the United States, preferring instead to try to gain traction through threats and the buildup of its military deterrent.
But the threat came amid increased concern over Pyongyang’s dogged efforts to advance its nuclear and missile technology after a recent long-range rocket launch and underground atomic blast.
On Tuesday, North Korea said it planned to scrap the armistice that stopped the Korean War in 1953 and warned it could carry out strikes against the United States and South Korea.