I wonder whether, if Jimmy Carter read KCNA more often, he’d be less woebegone about North Korea’s lack of avenues to dispel misunderstandings, seek out common ground, and show us all its softer side:
North Korea’s military warned South Korea and the United States on Friday of “unprecedented nuclear strikes” as it expressed anger over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country, a scenario it dismissed as a “pipe dream.”
The North routinely issues such warnings. Diplomats in South Korea and the U.S. have repeatedly called on Pyongyang to return to international negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear programs.
“Those who seek to bring down the system in the (North), whether they play a main role or a passive role, will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army,” North Korea’s military said in comments carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. [AP, Kwang Tae Kim]
How different can North Korea’s private diplomacy be from its public diplomacy?
North Korea denounced the plans as “a pipe dream of a lunatic wishing for the sky to fall.” “Such a ‘contingency’ will take place in South Korea” rather than in North Korea, said an unidentified spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, according to the official Korean Central News Agency, monitored in Seoul.
Anyone involved in overthrowing Pyongyang “will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army,” the spokesman said. [Yonhap]
And in other news from the state most recently de-listed as a sponsor of terrorism, North Korea is threatening defectors who broadcast uncensored news back to, and uncensored reports from, their homeland:
“We have been entrusted with issuing a strict warning in the name of the Republic (North Korea) and nation to those organizations which will be the first targets for severe punishment,” it threatened in a statement released on propaganda outlet “Uriminzokkiri. The phrase, “We have been entrusted,” implies that this warning is being delivered on the direct orders of Kim Jong Il.
“North Korea Reform Radio, Open Radio for North Korea and The Daily NK are throwing dirt at us under the banner of a propaganda front against North Korea,” it continued.
It called defectors “human trash,” “traitors,” and “fugitives” who have ungratefully run away from their families and the embrace of the Republic, and warned North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity and other defector organizations that they will “never forgive the human trash who have degenerated into informants for anti-unification reactionaries, the puppet conservative factions and American and Japanese anti-Republic schemes. [Daily NK]
The broadcasters answered with defiance.
President Bush removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism on October 11, 2008, and on February 3, 2010, President Obama decided not to put them back on. Discuss among yourselves.