Thursday, January 24, 2013
North Korea warned today it plans to conduct more long-range rocket launches and carry out a “high-level” nuclear test targeted at the United States in response to a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning its December rocket launch and expanding sanctions.
The National Defense Commission, North Korea’s top military body, denounced Tuesday’s U.N. resolution to censure and sanction the regime for conducting missile activity that violates U.N. rules, according to a Reuters report.
The commission reaffirmed in its declaration that December’s rocket launch was a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space, but also said the country’s rocket launches have a military purpose: to strike and attack the United States.
“We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people,” the commission said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival,” the commission added.
The U.S. State Department had no immediate response to Thursday’s statement. Shortly before the commission issued its declaration, U.S. envoy on North Korea Glyn Davies urged Pyongyang not to explode an atomic device.
“Whether North Korea tests or not, it’s up to North Korea. We hope they don’t do it. We call on them not to do it,” he told reporters in Seoul after meeting with South Korean officials. “It will be a mistake and a missed opportunity if they were to do it.”
Davies said that if North Korea begins “to take concrete steps to indicate their interest in returning to diplomacy, they may find in their negotiating partners willing partners in that process.”
While experts say North Korea doesn’t have the capability to hit the U.S. with its missiles, recent tests and rhetoric indicate the country is feverishly working toward that goal.