North Korea accused the U.S. of seeking its elimination, saying American policy toward the totalitarian state has brought the region closer to nuclear war.
“Due to the continued hostile policy towards the DPRK, the vicious cycle of confrontation and aggravation of tension is an ongoing phenomenon on the Korean peninsula, which became the world’s most dangerous hot spot where a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war,” Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil Yon said in a speech yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. DPRK refers to the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The U.S. led the push for the UN to broaden international sanctions against North Korea following its launching of a long-range rocket in April. The Obama administration also canceled a deal to provide 240,000 metric tons in food aid to the impoverished nation, which in turn broke off a pledge to halt missile and nuclear tests.
North Korea routinely accuses the U.S. and South Korea of military provocations. New leader Kim Jong Un, who succeeded his late father Kim Jong Il as dictator last year, told army units in August to prepare for “sacred war” during an annual U.S.- South Korea military drill. About 29,000 American troops are stationed in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 war that ended without a formal peace treaty.
“At the root of the U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK that has continued for over half a century lies its intention to destroy the ideas and system chosen by our people and to occupy the whole of the Korean peninsula to use it as a stepping stone for realizing its strategy of dominating the whole of Asia,” Pak said in his speech.
Pak accused the U.S. of putting the final touches on various military scenarios against North Korea.
“The U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK is most deeply rooted in military field,” he said. “With a view to eliminating the DPRK by dint of force, the U.S. already finalized different Korean War scenarios and it is waiting for a chance to implement them.”
Kim’s regime is promoting economic zones operated with China to save its impoverished economy. China is North Korea’s main benefactor, accounting for 89 percent of the nation’s foreign trade.
North Korea’s economy is about one-fortieth the size of its southern neighbor. Chronic food insecurity and malnutrition affects about two-thirds of the country’s 24 million people, Jerome Sauvage, the UN resident coordinator in the North Korea capital of Pyongyang, said in June.
Heavy rains and floods in July compounded food shortages, leaving almost 600 people dead or missing and 212,000 homeless, the official Korean State News Agency said in August.