North Korea said Thursday that U.S. sanctions against its leader Kim Jong Un crossed a “red line” and effectively marked a declaration of war.
Han Song Ryol, the top diplomat in charge of U.S. affairs at the North’s Foreign Ministry, threatened a “vicious” confrontation should the U.S. and South Korea move forward with its annual war games planned next month, in comments to the Associated Press.
“The Obama administration went so far to have the impudence to challenge the supreme dignity of the DPRK,” Han told the Associated Press, referring to an acronym of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “The United States has crossed the red line in our showdown. We regard this thrice-cursed crime as a declaration of war.”
Han said recent U.S. actions have escalated tensions on the Korean Peninsula, placing the region on a “war footing.”
The U.S. and South Korea frequently conduct join military drills on the Korean Peninsula. Washington and Seoul insist the exercises are defensive and non-provocative.
Han accused the two allied countries of including training intended to prepare troops to invade North Korea’s capital and to execute “decapitation strikes” that would kill Pyongyang’s senior leaders.
The Obama administration imposed sanctions for the first time against Kim earlier this month in response to widespread human rights abuses inside North Korea. The U.S. also blacklisted 10 other regime officials for allegedly helping Kim run prison camps, torture citizens, hunt down defectors, and maintain a nationwide system of propaganda and censorship.
Han said the sanctions marked a breaking point.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho warned the U.S. on Tuesday that it would pay a “terrifying price” for spearheading the international sanctions against Pyongyang.
North Korea was already bound by U.S. and United Nations sanctions in response to its nuclear weapons and missile tests.
(via: Free Beacon)