Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wire: North Korea Issues Nuke Threat

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning that North Korea today said it would use nuclear weapons in a "merciless offensive" if provoked -- its latest bellicose rhetoric apparently aimed at deterring any international punishment for its recent atomic test blast.

The tensions emanating from Pyongyang are beginning to impact business ties with the South: a Seoul-based fur manufacturer became the first South Korean company to announce Monday it was pulling out of an industrial complex in the North's border town of Kaesong, The Independent reported.

The Independent noted the following details:
Pyongyang raised tensions a notch by reviving its rhetoric in a commentary in the state-run Minju Joson newspaper today.

"Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive means...as well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country's dignity and sovereignty even a bit," said the commentary, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

It appeared to be the first time that North Korea referred to its nuclear arsenal as "offensive" in nature. Pyongyang has long claimed that its nuclear weapons program is a deterrent and only for self-defense against what it calls US attempts to invade it.

The tough talk came as South Korea and the US lead an effort at the UN Security Council to have the North punished for its nuclear test with tough sanctions.
This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: North Korea would use nuclear weapons in a "merciless offensive"

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