Boy Dictator Kim Jong Un is kicking the saber-rattling up a notch:
North Korea threatened to attack rival South Korea if Seoul joined a new round of tightened U.N. sanctions, as Washington unveiled more of its own economic restrictions following Pyongyang’s rocket launch last month.
In a third straight day of fiery rhetoric, the North directed its verbal onslaught at its neighbour on Friday, saying: “‘Sanctions’ mean a war and a declaration of war against us.”
The reclusive North has this week declared a boycott of all dialogue aimed at ending its nuclear programme and vowed to conduct more rocket and nuclear tests after the U.N. Security Council censured it for a December long-range missile launch.
Meanwhile, the US is responding forcefully to previous threats by the Pyongyang regime to step up nuke testing:
In Washington, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the remarks from Pyongyang “needlessly provocative.” He said the recent U.N. Security Council resolution freezing assets and banning travel by North Korean officials should send a “strong message of the international community’s opposition to North Korea’s provocations.”
“The United States will be taking additional steps in that regard,” he said. He declined to say what those actions might be.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said the United States was “very concerned” about North Korea’s threats and “fully prepared … to deal with any kind of provocation.”