North Korean media step up rhetoric against US

SEOUL: Continued American “aggression” will lead to war on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang's news media said yesterday as it stepped up the rhetoric against the United States. 

Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers Party, lashed out at reports that the United States and South Korea were establishing military plans for any potential conflict on the Korean peninsula. 

“(The plan) is nothing but a scenario of aggression that makes the outbreak of the second Korean war a fait accompli,” Rodong Sinmun said. 

The paper said that North Korea was “ready both for dialogue and war”. 

“Anyone who attempts to make a pre-emptive strike at North Korea can never go safe,” it warned. 

The fresh outburst came as a senior five-man North Korean delegation was in Seoul offering public reassurances that there would be no military conflict. 

“The position of North Korea is that it will not bring the stand-off with the US to the worst-case scenario,” an unidentified North Korean delegate to the talks said, according to Hankyoreh daily. 

The term “worst-case scenario” has been used here to describe a war breaking out on the Korean peninsula. 

The talks are being held against the backdrop of international fears over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, after the collapse of a 1994 agreement between Pyongyang and Washington that froze the Stalinist state's atomic programme. 

The United States has led an international drive for the crisis to be brought before the United Nations Security Council, a push that has so far been unsuccessful. 

Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) launched a separate broadside on yesterday, accusing the United States of having no intention of establishing a bilateral dialogue to solve the crisis. 

It referred to recent comments made by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that “all options were on the table”, in regards to North Korea. – AFP  

  • Another perspective from The Korea Herald, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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