North Korea vowed a military response if the UN Security Council reprimands it for the sinking of the South Korean Navy's ship Cheonan.
Fiery rhetoric from Pyongyang is common, but comes at a particularly tense time.
As it was, South Korea’s military dismissed the outburst as “routine rhetoric.” But tensions between the two Koreas are dangerously high at the moment.
The warning followed a veiled threat by North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sin Son-ho, that if the UN Security Council reprimands Pyongyang for sinking a South Korean warship last March, “follow-up measures will be carried out by our military forces.”
North Korea denies having anything to do with the sinking of the Cheonan and the death of 46 seamen aboard. An international inquiry blamed Pyongyang for the attack, and Seoul has taken the issue to the Security Council.
China, wielding a veto, will almost certainly protect its ally from any resolution imposing new sanctions on the hermit regime. But even a nonbinding statement by the Council condemning North Korea for the Cheonan tragedy would trigger military “follow-up,” Mr. Sin threatened on Tuesday.