The ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur brings together 10 member nations and envoys from over a dozen non-members.
Speaking after the meeting, a spokesman for North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong has warned of the possibility of a “Second Korean War” and criticized U.S. hegemony in Asia. The official also underlined North Korea’s belief in their right to launch satellites, writes Elizabeth Shim for UPI.
North Korea ready for second Korean War
Ri Dong Il, former North Korean Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke to the press after the ministerial meeting, according to Yonhap news agency.
“In order to protect North Korean sovereignty and its people from a nuclear disaster, we have no choice but to resort to measures of self-defense,” said Ri, according to South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh.
He claimed that a further North Korean nuclear test was possible, but “depends on U.S. attitudes.”
“If the United States continues to strengthen [the U.S.-South Korea] military alliance, engage in large-scale buildup of arms, and use North Korea as an excuse, a Second Korean War is inevitable,” Ri said.
North Korea is planning a rocket launch to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party on October 10. The spokesman called that launch a “sovereign right.”
Another North Korean diplomat made similar claims in Geneva. He also admitted that an “expansion” was being made at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station near the border with China.
Spokesman lauds Kim Jong-un
Ri claimed North Korea is prepared for armed conflict and “has what it takes to confront war, regardless of U.S. decisions.” He then predicted a second Korean war. “No matter what kind of war is to take place, it will bring about Korean unification,” Ri said.
North Korea continues to follow the “Byungjin” policy, which involves both economic development and continued work on nuclear weapons. Ri claimed that the economy is now starting its “rising phase.”
Yonhap quoted Ri praising the work of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un. “The entire world is witnessing the dynamic leadership of Kim Jong Un,” he said.
Pyongyang’s commitment to developing nuclear weapons is a genuine threat to regional security. North Korea already possesses missiles capable of reaching Japan, and it is feared that the next rocket test will demonstrate long range capabilities. If North Korea can hit mainland United States, relations between the two nations could change significantly.