The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) blaming the United States for heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula, on Friday said it was drawing a “red line,” warning Washington not to cross it in its bid for ” regime change” in Pyongyang.
The DPRK deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ri Tong Il, did not say what the consequences could be when he issued the threat at a press conference at UN headquarters in New York. He also blamed Washington for pushing for a recent UN Human Rights Commission (HRC) report critical of Pyongyang.
“The DPRK has drawn already a red line in response to U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK,” Ri said. “The United States should not go beyond, step over, this red line, and the U.S. already knows what the counter-measures (are) in case they cross the red line.”
While not specifying what “counter-measures are,” he repeated Pyongyang’s recent threat to carry out a “new form” of nuclear test. DPRK had been roundly criticized for two previous nuclear tests.
The ambassador said despite his government’s “making a strenuous, hard effort, very generous, toward easing the tension for peace and security of the Korean Peninsula … the U.S. went ahead with opening of joint military activities, very aggressive nature” with South Korea.
The “generous” move apparently referred to the reunion meetings of families separated by the Korean war in the 1950s, which divided the Korean Peninsula. The war never officially ended and there is only an armistice between the DPRK in the North and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the South.
The recent joint exercises carried out by Seoul and Washington included coastal landings and a flight over South Korea of B52 strategic bombers, capable of delivering nuclear bombs.
He said the United States “escalated .. the nuclear and so- called Human Rights issue” because “the U.S. is hell bent on elimination of the DPRK politically, isolating the DPRK economically and annihilating the DPRK militarily.”
“The total of these endeavors is to undermine the image of the DPRK and eventually make regime change in the DPRK,” Ri said.
The Human Rights criticism he referred to was a 400-page report from an HRC panel accusing the DPRK government of widespread human rights violations, some compared to being carried out by the Nazis in Word War II.
The U.S. State Department has dispatched a special envoy for human rights in the DPRK, Ambassador Robert King.
However, Ri said, “The DPRK has no intention, absolutely no intention, to receive him.”
“He has been tot the Human Rights Council meeting (in Geneva), blaming the DPRK human rights while he is ignoring human rights violations in his own country,” Ri said.
“The point is the U.S. Human Rights hostility is now reaching the extreme end and no longer can we overlook it,” Ri concluded. ” That’s why we have drawn the red line and if the U.S. crosses that red line we made it clear what kind of responses and counter measures will be taken by the DPRK.”