North Korea leader Kim Jong Un (Reuters/Kyodo)

UN approves sanctions after North Korean nuke threat

The decision came hours after Pyongyang ramped up its rhetoric to dizzying new heights


Mariya KarimjeeGeoffrey Cain
March 7, 2013 10:18PM (UTC)

SEOUL, South Korea — The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to approve new, tighter sanctions against North Korea on Thursday.

The vote on whether to increase sanctions against Pyongyang was prompted by the hermit kingdom's nuclear test last month. The UN decision came hours after North Korea had ramped up its rhetoric yet again, threatening a "preemptive" nuclear strike against the United States.

Advertisement:

The Associated Press quoted a spokesman for North Korea's foreign ministry as saying that Pyonyang would "exercise the right to a pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the headquarters of the aggressors." According to the AP, the spokesman also alleged that Washington is gearing up to start a nuclear war against North Korea.

The country's foreign ministry warned earlier this week that a second Korean war is "unavoidable" now that both the United States and South Korea are refusing Pyongyang's demands to cancel large-scale joint military exercises.

Today's threat is a significant step up from the rhetoric over the past month. Observers are debating the significance of its origin from the foreign ministry as opposed to the military, a major power in North Korean politics that typically launches such threats.

Experts dismiss the idea that North Korea could carry out a "preemptive nuclear strike" as ridiculous. The government launched a single wobbling, defunct satellite in December whose archaic rocket couldn't deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States, says Brian Harvey, Dublin-based author of "Emerging Space Powers."

Analysts speaking to the BBC said North Korea's rhetoric was likely aimed at the upcoming UN vote.

The AP also wrote that North Korea may not yet have "mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the US," though it does have enough fuel for "crude nuclear devices."

Advertisement:

Mariya Karimjee

MORE FROM Mariya Karimjee

Geoffrey Cain

MORE FROM Geoffrey Cain

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Globalpost North Korea Pyongyang South Korea United Nations

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •