North Korea Threatens Retaliation over Terror Designation
North Korea is warning it will “settle accounts” with the United States over being relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“This is a serious provocation and a violent infringement upon our dignified country,” said a foreign affairs spokesperson for the regime on Nov. 22.
The threatening commentary was published by North Korean news agency KCNA.
President Donald Trump announced the designation Tuesday, relisting the communist regime after former President George W. Bush delisted it in 2008 following an ill-fated deal for the county to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
Besides bombing a South Korean flight in 1987 and conducting various kidnappings and attacks outside North Korea, the regime is believed responsible for the assassination of leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, in Malaysia in February.
The North Korean spokesperson denied the regime has supported terrorism.
North Korea withdrew from the international treaty on non-proliferation in January 2003.
North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons has stirred fears it could sell those systems to other countries, a possibility that North Korean defector Thae Yong Ho said was highly likely during testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Nov 1.
North Korea’s long-standing military cooperation with Iran, which extends to missile development, gives credence to concerns the regime would share that technology, said the former North Korean diplomat.
When asked directly if North Korea would sell nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Thae said: “Absolutely, because North Korea is a country who wants to sell anything for the hard currency.”
Alongside the designation, Trump announced additional sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department. The regime said the sanctions were unjust and would not dissuade it from pursuing nuclear weapons.
The regime’s statement accuses the United States of trying to destroy the North Korean communist ideology, but said no sanctions could stand up to “the great and limitless strength of self-reliance and self-development of our people who are closely rallied around their leader.”
“Our army and people are full of rage and anger towards the heinous gangsters who dared to put the name of our sacred country in this wretched list of “terrorism” and are hardening their will to settle all accounts with those gangsters at any time in any way.”
“The U.S. will be held entirely accountable for all the consequences to be entailed by its impudent provocation to the DPRK,” it finished.
In the speech Trump noted widespread abuses of the Kim regime and the consequences of its policies.
“Among children under the age of five, nearly 30 percent of afflicted—and are afflicted by stunted growth due to malnutrition,” said Trump.
“An estimated 100,000 North Koreans suffer in gulags, toiling in forced labor and enduring torture, starvation, rape, and murder on a constant basis.”
Trump criticized the regime for its outsized spending on statutes glorifying the Kim family compared to providing basic necessities for the North Korean people.
“North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves,” said Trump.
The Rodong Sinmun commentary published yesterday said Trump “should be sternly punished” for his remarks.
“We can never overlook the fact that Trump malignantly slandered and insulted the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and its socialist system,” it reads.
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