North Korea is intent on ratcheting up its threats against South Korea after the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2087 last month, which put tougher sanctions on the recalcitrant regime in response to its launch last month of a multistage rocket using ballistic missile technology.
While preparing for a third nuclear test, Pyongyang repeatedly used belligerent phrases such as “measures for a physical response” or a “grand war for unification of the fatherland” through the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, a state mouthpiece, to comment its relations with the South. It is abominable that Pyongyang chooses to vent its anger on Seoul after making absurd provocations against the international community by launching long-range missiles.
Pyongyang has been issuing all kinds of statements condemning the Jan. 22 UN resolution. There have also been an increasing number of reports that the North has “a firm determination to take a nationally grave action” and has reached a “significant conclusion” at the Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission chaired by Kim Jong-un. In addition, Pyongyang continues to propagandize a continuous “plea for enlistment” by the young generation in an attempt to give the impression that its entire population is fighting back against mounting international pressure to isolate the reclusive regime. The move is aimed at consolidating its people’s unity by raising a sense of crisis among the public and propping up the legitimacy of the regime’s argument that the UN sanctions are unfair.
This behavioral pattern is nothing new from the North; we see it whenever conflict deepens with international community. Yet the threats have passed the permissible level, given that such crude and vulgar language has rarely been seen before.
North Korea’s attempt to conduct another nuclear test is a frontal assault on the international community. It is a big mistake for Pyongyang to believe it can still get away with it. There would be no countries, including South Korea, which will be daunted by its threats. We cannot help but wonder if the North takes such an aggressive position out of fear of concerted actions by the rest of the world. We hope Pyongyang complies with the world’s demands for peace and stability in Northeast Asia.