PYONGYANG (BNO NEWS) — The North Korean military on Friday said the South will ‘pay for its hideous crimes’ during the mourning period for Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il and warned it may launch a retaliatory strike to ‘smash the stronghold of the puppet forces.’
A statement from the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) condemned the South Korean government for immediately putting its forces on alert and convening an emergency meeting following the announcement of Kim Jong-il’s death.
“When the whole nation is overcome with grief over the great loss, only the South Korean puppet group committed thrice-cursed crimes,” the Commission said in a long statement. “The DPRK National Defense Commission, above all, discloses before the world and the nation the truth about those crimes of the South Korean puppet group.”
The Commission said the South’s actions created the impression that a ‘golden opportunity’ had arrived to lead the North to a system change. “The South Korean authorities put the three services of the puppet army on an emergency alert and ordered them to adopt combat posture, creating a war-like atmosphere on the ground and in the seas and air,” it said.
North Korea also condemned the South for spreading anti-DPRK leaflets during the mourning period and preventing certain groups and citizens from visiting Pyongyang to convey their condolences. “Traitor Lee Myung-bak spearheaded all these operations,” the Commission said, referring to the South Korean president.
It added: “[Lee] sought to attain his foolish goal by taking the advantage of the mourning period, and if that fails, to lead the DPRK to ‘contingency’ and ‘change of system’. From the olden times, it was considered inhumane to raise one’s fist at the neighbor visited by misfortune and seek profits.”
North Korean state-run media published a series of articles on Friday which were critical of South Korea. While threats against South Korea have been made in the past, Friday’s threat was the first since Kim Jong-il’s son, Kim Jong-un, took over as Supreme Leader.
“Expressing condolences and sending condolatory messages have been good manners and customs and ethical tradition peculiar to the Korean nation from the ancient times,” the Commission said. “It is for this reason that we brand the evil act of the Lee group as treason bereft of elementary human reason and morality.”
North Korea also reiterated again that it was not responsible for the 2010 sinking of the ROKS Cheonan, a South Korean Navy ship carrying 104 people. The incident left 46 people killed and a South Korean-led international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo which was allegedly fired from a midget submarine.
Friday’s statement further reiterated that North Korean forces only acted in ‘self-defense’ when it bombarded the disputed Yeonpyeong Island last year, prompting South Korea to return fire at North Korea. The artillery engagement from the North left two South Korean civilians killed while the South’s return fire killed at least five people in North Korea.
The Commission said it issued Friday’s statement to ‘clarify’ its principles in regards to South Korea, mainly because of the events during the mourning period. “As already declared, the DPRK will have no dealings with the Lee Myung-bak group of traitors forever,” it said. “To keep company with them is a disgrace for the clear and honest-minded Korean nation as they are ignorant in politics, vulgar in morals and lack elementary human nature.”
The military warned: “We will surely force the group of traitors to pay for its hideous crimes committed at the time of the great national misfortune. The veritable sea of tears shed by the army and people of the DPRK will turn into that of retaliatory fire to burn all the group of traitors to the last one and their wailing into a roar of revenge to smash the stronghold of the puppet forces.”
Despite having no independent media organizations in North Korea, the Commission also criticized South Korean media outlets for allegedly broadcasting false reports, fabrication, speculation and assumptions. “The conservative media of South Korea [..] oblivious of their mission to be a fair speaker for the public and pioneer of true public,” it said.
“Taking this opportunity, we solemnly declare with confidence that the South Korean puppets and foolish politicians around the world should not expect any change from the DPRK,” the Commission said.
However, the statement concluded that the North Korean government will ‘keep to the path’ of improving North-South relations and achieving peace and prosperity. “The world will see how the army and people of the DPRK win the final victory after turning their sorrow and tears into strength and courage, closely rallied behind the dear respected Kim Jong Un,” it concluded.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which is officially still at war, have been at critical since the two incidents last year. The 1950-1953 Korean War, which left millions of people killed, ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.