North Korea threatened to engulf South Korea’s presidential palace in a “sea of fire” if the south fires even one bullet or shell toward its territorial waters.
The Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army issued the threat today after the South Korean military conducted a drill in disputed waters in the Yellow Sea yesterday, the anniversary of a deadly artillery exchange between the two nations.
North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23 2010 was a “legitimate self-defensive step” against provocative artillery fire in the area by South Korea, according to the statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang. Four South Koreans were killed in the exchange.
If South Korea fires a single bullet or shell toward its territorial waters, North Korea will respond with a “sea of fire” in the presidential palace and a “deluge of fire sweeping away the stronghold of the group of traitors,” the statement said.
Last year’s attack, the first on South Korean soil since the 1950-53 war, followed the sinking of a warship. An international investigation concluded that a North Korean torpedo was responsible for the incident, in which 46 South Korea sailors died.
North Korea remains technically at war with South Korea after the 1950s conflict ended only in a cease-fire. Threats against its neighbor are common feature of statements from North Korea’s state-run news service.