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N.Korea uses coordinates to threaten SK media outlets

Posted June. 05, 2012 05:58,   


North Korea on Monday threatened military attacks on South Korean media outlets through precision strikes by citing the map coordinates of their headquarters.

In an "open letter of ultimatum" from the North Korean People’s Army, the North’s Korean Central News Agency said, “Media outlets, including The Dong-A Ilbo’s Channel A (TV network), are staging en masse a media propaganda campaign condemning our children’s celebrative events,” adding, “Ill-made reports can become a knife that cuts off one’s own throat.”

This is the first time for Pyongyang to threaten military attacks through an “open letter of ultimatum.”

North Korea criticized South Korean media’s reporting of an event commemorating the 66th anniversary (June 6) of the (North) Korea Children’s Union. Pyongyang was especially angered by the metaphorical comparison of its supreme leader Kim Jong Un to Adolf Hitler.

The ultimatum said, “How dare they say (our leader) is mimicking Hitler and call it a political show like the Nazis aimed at cultivating our children’s public union. They are also defaming our supreme dignity,” adding, “Our military has an iron-strong determination not to leave intact the dens of ultra-large aggressors.”

“The General Staff of the (North) Korean People`s Army is sending the final ultimatum to the faction of betrayers,” it said, adding, “We would like to ask the South if it wants to leave all of this to be struck by our military or opt to apologize and put the situation under control, though belatedly.”

The North had bombarded the South with a barrage of uncensored criticism soon after the centennial birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, which is the national holiday Day of the Sun (April 15) in the North.

Pyongyang had eased the intensity of its rhetoric since mid-May and instead focused on internal management by presenting images of Kim Jong Un weeding out at the Mankyongdae entertainment site. North Korea emphasized efficient administration of national territory and expanding the “Kim Jong Il Patriotism" campaign to across the Stalinist country. The North, however, is considered to have returned to its hardline stance this month.

Lee Woo-young, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said, “North Korea has failed to induce notable reactions from the South even after condemning President Lee Myung-bak with extremely abusive language. So the North is shifting its target to the (South Korean) media anew to try to draw public attention.”

A source in the South Korean government also said, “North Korea, which is in a defensive mode due to the scrapping of its Feb. 29 agreement with the U.S., has just two bargaining chips, namely nuclear tests and military aggression against South Korea,” adding, “A nuclear test could excessively provoke Washington, but an act of aggression against Seoul does not entail such a risk. So Pyongyang will seek to use it at anytime.”

Referring to the recent joint air defense drill between Seoul and Washington called “Max Thunder," the Rodong Shinmun, the official newspaper of the North`s ruling Workers` Party, said, “If belligerents end up launching attacks on us, we will repay them with complete destruction.”

Earlier on Saturday, the North Korean propaganda website "Uriminzokkiri" said, “The puppet (South Korea) is planning a joint maneuvering drill to entail the mobilization of ballistic missiles and speed boats on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the second (inter-Korean) naval skirmish in the Yellow Sea June 14,” adding, “It is a natural thing for us to eradicate the source of conflict to avoid the repeated fuss of playing with fire,” hinting at a preemptive attack.

Kim Hyeong-seok, spokesman of South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said the North’s threats made by naming specific media companies and mentioning map coordinates of their headquarters are a grave "provocation" against South Korea`s free and democratic system. He urged Pyongyang to immediately stop making such threats.

The South Korean Defense Ministry said, “The government will maintain a posture of immediately countering any North Korean provocation."

A South Korean military source said no particular movements by the North Korean military were observed.

President Lee Myung-bak invited top brass, including Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Chung Seung-jo, to the presidential office Monday and gave words of encouragement.

“All world leaders have said the economy is a problem amid the global economic crisis, and the Republic of Korea is the only country that must address both its economy and national security,” President Lee said.

“We are facing a special situation in which we cannot afford to disregard national security by focusing only on the economy,” he added. “The military should continue to remain on high alert and be highly efficient.”