North Korea Turns Its Threats to the South
After the laughter when he threatened the U.S., North Korea’s newest leader has decided to pull his only plausible threat out once more by threatening war with South Korea.
North Korea threatened on Friday to take “physical countermeasures” against South Korea if it helps enforce sanctions against the besieged North, calling the United Nations-endorsed penalties a “declaration of war” and warning of a prolonged chill in the relations between the two Koreas.
North Korea’s confrontational posture was likely to significantly limit room for the South’s incoming conservative president, Park Geun-hye, to make overtures for reconciliation with the North; like the outgoing President Lee Myung-bak and President Obama in the United States, Mr. Park considers the dismantling of the North’s nuclear program the premise in all South Korea’s diplomacy toward the North. Since her December election, she has said she would not tolerate the North’s nuclear program and would deal sternly with North Korean provocations.