N. Korea warns of ‘super-mighty preemptive strike’ as U.N. threatens new sanctions
North Korean state media warned the United States of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. was looking at ways to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program. Tensions have risen after President Trump took a hard line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has rebuffed admonitions from sole major ally China and proceeded with nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions. The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher sanctions, but House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a visit to London the military option must be part of the pressure brought to bear.
In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes.
The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party
In response to North Korea’s latest failed missile test, the U.N. Security Council strongly condemned Pyongyang for its “highly destabilizing behavior” and threatened to impose new sanctions in a statement that was delayed as the U.S. and Russia sparred over its language. It is rare for council members to wrangle over standard language, but the dispute came amid U.S. and Russian tensions over Moscow’s support for President Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war. Russia wanted to include in the statement “dialogue” as the means for peaceful resolution with North Korea. However, the U.S. said that it cut the words because it would “overly narrow” the international communities’ options for a peaceful resolution. Pyongyang is seeking to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland with a nuclear warhead and has staged several tests in the past few years. A former U.S. defense secretary who has negotiated with North Korea, said that despite the fiery rhetoric, he did not believe Pyongyang was planning a surprise attack. But he warned of the consequences in an escalation of this war of words.
They are doing a lot of bluster and a lot of threats, and they might misplay that hand and blunder into a war.
William Perry, who served as U.S. defense secretary from 1994 to 1997