North Korea Again Talks of War, Resists Pressure, Talks

North Korea said Saturday any sanctions or pressure applied against it following its rocket launch earlier this month will be considered a “declaration of war.”

From the Associated Press:

Tension on the Korean peninsula has heightened since North Korea launched a rocket on April 5 despite repeated international warnings. It insists it sent a satellite into space, but regional powers say nothing reached orbit and the launch was actually a test of long-range missile technology.

A TV-video grab from April 5 shows the launch of a rocket from ... 
A TV-video grab from April 5 shows the launch of a rocket from an undisclosed location in North Korea. The North, angry at UN censure of its rocket launch this month, announced Tuesday it is scrapping the deal and would build up its nuclear deterrent.(AFP/North Korea TV/File)

North Korea reacted angrily to the U.N. Security Council’s condemnation of the rocket launch, saying it would restart its nuclear program, expel international monitors and quit six-nation disarmament talks.

U.N. and U.S. monitors left the communist nation this past week. Their pullout leaves the international community with no onsite means to monitor North Korea’s nuclear facilities, which can produce weapons-grade plutonium if restarted.

A spokesman for the North Korean military’s General Staff said that South Korea fully joining the Proliferation Security Initiative would be regarded “as a declaration of undisguised confrontation and a declaration of a war against” North Korea.

The unidentified spokesman’s comments were carried Saturday by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The PSI, which began in 2003, is aimed at deterring states such as North Korea and Iran from trade in missile and nuclear technology.

South Korea, which has been an observer, had planned to officially announce its full participation Sunday, but decided on a delay following the North’s proposal of a meeting about the industrial park, a Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

The official did not elaborate, but Yonhap news agency quoted unnamed South Korean officials as saying the delay was aimed at reviewing “factors like inter-Korean talks,” but did not mean that South Korea would cancel its plan to join the program.

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