Added by Erik West on March 7, 2013
North Korea said on Thursday it will exercise its right to “a pre-emptive nuclear attack” in response to new UN sanctions that were imposed as a result of its underground nuclear test almost one month ago.
The new sanctions, drafted by China and the United States, limit the options North Korea has to financing and acquire of materials for weapons program. A Chinese official said the sanctions’ long term goal is to denuclearize North Korea.
North Korea’s response to the new sanctions was swift:
Army General Kang Pyo Yong at a rally in North Korea said missiles armed with nuclear warheads are ready to be fired at Washington.
In the days preceding the new sanctions North Korea said it considers the new sanctions an “act of war” and threatened to cancel the 1953 ceasefire that ended the Korean War.
A statement carried by North Korea’s Central News Agency said North Korea was no longer bound by the 1953 ceasefire and was free to take self-defensive military action “against any target any moment.”
The country’s leadership said the sanctions would advance its plans for it to take second and third countermeasures against its enemies.
Analysts said previous threats in response to sanctions were intended to create a sense of crisis among North Korea’s population and destabilize the region, forcing Washington to consider concessions. Analysts agreed that a military attack by the Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK) would be suicidal, yet did not rule out the possibility of a minor battle with South Korea, possibly to test its new president Park Geun-hye – South Korea’s first female president.
Three previous UN Security council resolutions bar North Korea from importing or exporting weapons program materials and from using or testing ballistic missile technologies.