North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers an exciting New Year address in Pyongyang.
(Photo : Reuters)
After previously testing nuclear weapons in December, North Korea denounced the U.S. as a "sworn enemy" of its people Thursday, announcing plans for a third nuclear test and continued rocket launches, all of which it admits are "targeted" at America, Time magazine reported.
The bellicose comments arrive as disappointment to many who had hoped the nation's new leader, Kim Jong-Un, would approach international relations with tact and less aggression than his father, Kim Jong-il. North Korea's statement is also seen as an outright challenge to President Barack Obama and South Korea's newly elected president, Park Geun-hye, ABC News noted.
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"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," reads the statement from North Korea's National Defense Commission.
The renewed hostility comes in response to the U.S.'s backing of a resolution tightening sanctions against North Korea after its December rocket launch, and the U.N. Security Council's vote to unanimously condemn the launch - which it said was banned under previous resolutions - and move to strengthen existing sanctions.
When North Korea launched a satellite into orbit last month, it explained that the launch was an exercise of its "right to use space for peaceful purposes" and condemning criticism from the U.S. and others that the ballistic missile test was meant as a threat to neighboring countries. Thursday's announcement made no mention of peace.
"We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States," said North Korea in the statement.
After analyzing debris form the December launch, South Korean officials determined North Korea built and tested crucial components for a missile that can fly further than 6,200 miles. Preparations are currently already underway at the Pungyee test site in northeastern North Korea and a new test could take place on short notice, Analysts said.
The international monitoring community doesn't believe North Korea has the capability to launch long-range rockets with the capacity to reach the U.S. or the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, ABC News reported. Of course, that hasn't made it any easier for the U.S. to swallow the insular country's threatening declaration. Top U.S. envoy to the region, Glyn Davis, said in Seoul, "We hope they don't do it. We call on them not to do it."
North Korea's only major ally, China, is also urging the country to practice restraint. China backed the same sanction tightening resolution as the U.S. at the United Nations, and Thursday its Foreign Ministry pleaded with the country to take no further steps. China made a similar cautioning statement prior to the December launch, Time, noted.