“Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now,” Pyongyang said in a statement published Tuesday by its official news agency, KCNA.
North Korea said it was responding to what it called insults from the “puppet authorities” in the South, claiming that there had been a rally against North Korea in Seoul — a rally it called a “monstrous criminal act.”
The renewed menacing rhetoric came a day after North Koreans celebrated the birthday of their country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, who launched the Korean War.
Kim Min-seok, a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry, said the latest threat from the North was regrettable. Read more from this story HERE.
North Korea, Marking Leader’s Birthday, Shows More Ire
By Eric Talmadge. After a day of festivities to mark the 101st birthday of its first leader, North Korea on Tuesday offered new prickly rhetoric against the United States and South Korea, which are watching closely for signs whether it will conduct a medium-range missile test in defiance of international concerns.
State media said the Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army issued an ultimatum demanding an apology from South Korea for “hostile acts” and threatening that unspecified retaliatory actions would happen at any time.
The statement, relayed through the KCNA state media agency, came after a day of festivities in North Korea’s capital that featured art performances, public dances and crowds thronging to giant bronze statues to pay homage to the late leader Kim Il Sung,
The renewed rhetoric was sparked by a protest in downtown Seoul, where effigies of Kim Il Sung and his son and successor, late leader Kim Jong Il, were burned. Such protests are not unusual in South Korea and this one likely gave the North a pretext to react negatively to calls for joining in dialogue with its neighbors than an actual cause for retaliation.
The North’s statement said it would refuse any offers of talks with the South until it apologized for the “monstrous criminal act.” North Korea often denounces such protests, but rarely in the name of the Supreme Command, which is headed by Kim Il Sung’s grandson and North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un. Read more from this story HERE.
China points finger at U.S. over Asia-Pacific tensions
By Ben Blanchard. China’s defense ministry made a thinly veiled attack on the United States on Tuesday for increasing tensions in the Asia-Pacific by ramping up its military presence and alliances in the region, days after the top U.S. diplomat visited Beijing.
China is uneasy with what the United States has called the “rebalancing” of forces as Washington winds down the war in Afghanistan and renews its attention further east.
China says the policy has emboldened Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam in longstanding territorial disputes with Beijing.
China faces “multiple and complicated security threats” despite its growing influence, the Ministry of Defense said in its annual white paper, adding that the U.S. strategy meant “profound changes” for Asia.
“There are some countries which are strengthening their Asia Pacific military alliances, expanding their military presence in the region and frequently make the situation there tenser,” the ministry said in the 40-page document, in a clear reference to the United States. Read more from this story HERE.