Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thanks for the heads-up, Pyongyang.

North Korea, according to Xinhua, is warning that it will use its nuclear arsenal if it is attacked by the US or South Korea:
"If Washington and Seoul try to create a conflict on the Korean Peninsula, we will respond with a holy war on the basis of our nuclear deterrent forces," said [North Korean ambassador to Cuba Kwon Sung Chol] at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the DPRK.

"Our government will strive for the denuclearization of the peninsula and the establishment of a lasting peace as the beginning of the reunification process of the two Koreas," the diplomat said.

Despite obstacles created by the United States and South Korea, reunification will be achieved with the support of peace-loving peoples, like Cubans, he said.
I don't know if it's bad journalism or just a bad speech, but none of those three paragraphs sounds like they are coming from the same person. Certainly, committing to the use of nukes in response to a conventional conflict (first paragraph) doesn't really go hand in hand with striving for denuclearization (second paragraph), while the third paragraph, no doubt meant as a local crowd-pleaser, just sounds delusional.

Anyhoo, this kind of sentiment is why I'm always happy to hear of North Korea testing another nuclear weapon. Test them all, I says! It's the only way to know they all work.

Seriously, though, with North Korea gearing up for yet another dynastic succession, there may be disgruntled generals and apparatchiki, enough that the inner circle is anticipating dissent and they want to warn Washington and Seoul off of taking advantage of that.

That's my read, anyway. Of course, Nork politicos may just like talking about their nukes.

In the only picture I could find of Ambassador Kwon, he is seen giving Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo a letter of credence. [source]

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