Is it the will of the entire country that one person is stating?
North Korea warned Wednesday it will fire an intercontinental ballistic missile — or even carry out another nuclear test — unless the U.N. apologizes for condemning the regime’s April 5 rocket launch.
By flaunting its rogue nuclear and missile programs, Pyongyang has raised the stakes in the escalating diplomatic tit for tat with the outside world. North Korea also said it would start generating nuclear fuel — an indication the regime will begin enriching uranium, another material used to make an atomic bomb.
North Korea is known for its use of brinksmanship and harsh rhetoric to force the West to react, but the threat of a nuclear test is significant.
Pyongyang conducted its first atomic test in 2006, and is thought to have enough plutonium to make at least half a dozen nuclear bombs. There are no indications, however, that scientists in the North have mastered the technology needed to make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit onto a missile.
Still, North Korea’s April 5 rocket launch drew widespread international concern. Pyongyang claims the liftoff was a peaceful bid to send a communications satellite into space, but the U.S., Japan and others saw it as a furtive test of a delivery system capable of sending a long-range missile within striking range of Alaska.
The U.N. Council denounced the launch as a violation of 2006 resolutions barring the North from missile-related activity, and later imposed new sanctions on three North Korean firms.
Within hours of the sanctions, the North claimed it had begun reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods at its Yongbyon nuclear complex to harvest weapons-grade plutonium — a clear setback to years of negotiations on disarming the communist country.
The Security Council must apologize for infringing on the North’s sovereignty and “withdraw all its unreasonable and discriminative resolutions and decisions” against the North, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
Otherwise, the regime “will be compelled to take additional self-defensive measures,” including “nuclear tests and test-firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” the ministry said.
The U.S. criticized North Korea’s latest maneuver.
“Let me just say very clearly that these threats only further isolate the North,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood. “We again call on the North Koreans to come back to the (negotiating) table … We’ve heard these types of threats before.”
via NKorea threatens nuke test if UN doesn’t apologize.