North Korea on Tuesday strongly denounced the upcoming joint military exercise between Seoul and Washington, warning a “pre-emptive strike” against any attempt to collapse the Kim Jong-un regime.
South Korea and the United States plan to conduct their largest-ever military drill next month at a time of heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula following Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test and long-range missile launch.
In response, the North Korean military said it will use all possible measures to counter any attempts to decapitate its leader and collapse its regime, calling the planned joint drill “the height of hostile acts.”
We “are ready to immediately and mercilessly punish without slightest leniency, tolerance and patience anyone provoking the dignified supreme headquarters even a bit,” the Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army said in an English statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency. [Yonhap]
President Bush removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism on October 11, 2008. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Obama Administration’s official view is that North Korea is “not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987.”
Yes, I realize that a threat to attack with conventional forces (if that’s what the threat is) doesn’t meet the strict definition of “international terrorism,” but since when do these things matter to our State Department? After all, Bush took North Korea off the list for promising to give up its nuclear weapons programs, and that doesn’t have anything to do with the legal standards for listing a state as a sponsor of terrorism, either.
Discuss among yourselves.