April 5, 2014 in Nation/World

N. Korea warns U.S. of ‘red line’ if regime change pursued

Cara Anna Associated Press
 

Ri
(Full-size photo)

UNITED NATIONS – North Korea on Friday accused the United States of being “hell-bent on regime change” and warned that any maneuvers with that intention will be viewed as a “red line” that will result in countermeasures.

Pyongyang’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Ri Tong Il, also repeated that his government “made it very clear we will carry out a new form of nuclear test” but refused to elaborate, saying only that “I recommend you to wait and see what it is.”

His comments came at North Korea’s second press conference at the United Nations in two weeks, a surprising rate for the reclusive communist regime.

Ri blamed the U.S. for aggravating tensions on the Korean Peninsula by continuing “very dangerous” military drills with South Korea, by pursuing action in the U.N. Security Council against his country’s recent ballistic missile launches and by going after Pyongyang’s human rights performance.

Ri also accused the U.S. of blocking a resumption of six-party talks on its nuclear program by settling preconditions and said Washington’s primary goal is to maintain tensions and prevent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

A U.S. diplomat who was not authorized to comment publicly later responded: “We have long made clear – in close consultation with our allies – that we are open to improved relations with the DPRK if it is willing to take clear actions to live up to its international obligations and commitments.”

North Korea walked away from the six-party nuclear disarmament talks in 2009 over disagreements on how to verify steps the North was meant to take to end its nuclear programs. The U.S. and its allies are demanding that the North demonstrate its sincerity in ending its drive to acquire nuclear weapons.

Since pulling out of the six-party talks, the North has conducted two nuclear tests, at least two long-range rocket tests and most recently short-range rocket launches.

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