A senior North Korean diplomat warned a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York that “a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war” on the Korean Peninsula.
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo
6:41AM BST 02 Oct 2012
Pak Kil-yon, Pyongyang’s vice-foreign minster, put the blame for the tense state of inter-Korean relations firmly on South Korea’s conservative government and claimed the citizens of the North feel “shame” and “political terror.”
Monday’s speech was the first time a representative of North Korea has addressed the General Assembly since Kim Jong-un assumed power after the death of his father in December last year.
“Since taking office, the current South Korean government has caused the worst situation in North-South relations by making all inter-Korean agreements null and void,” Pak said, referring to pacts with previous South Korean administrations that sought reconciliation between the two ideological enemies and an expansion of economic co-operation.
Describing relations between the two governments as in “total bankruptcy,” Pak dismissed the South Korean government of Lee Myung-bak with the comment, “History will bring them to justice.”
Neither the United States nor the UN escaped criticism, with Pak saying recent joint military manoeuvres between the US and South Korean troops were “reckless provocations.”
“Today, due to the continued US hostile policy towards the DPRK, the vicious cycle of confrontation and aggravation of tensions is an ongoing phenomenon on the Korean Peninsula, which has become the world’s most dangerous hot spot and where a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war,” Pak said.
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