North Korea Claims Syrian Attack Shows It Needs Its Nukes Ready
North Korea on Saturday called the U.S. airstrike on Syria “unforgivable.”
“The reality of today shows that we must stand against power with power and it proves a million times over that our decision to strengthen our nuclear deterrence has been the right choice,” the rogue state said in its first official statement on Thursday’s attack, launched by President Donald Trump after Syria used chemical weapons on a Syrian village.
— NDTV (@ndtv) April 8, 2017
“The U.S. missile attack against Syria is a clear and unforgivable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn this,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
“The Syria attack thoroughly reminds us the fact that it is absolutely dangerous to have any illusions about imperialism and only military power of our own will protect us from imperialistic aggression,” the statement said. “We will keep bolstering our self-defensive military might in various ways in order to cope with the ever-intensifying U.S. acts of aggression.”
North Korea’s ambassador to Russia, Kim Hyong Jun, said Friday North Korea will deliver the “most ruthless blow” if provoked, adding that North Korea has the “readiness and ability to counter any challenge” and would act after “even the smallest provocation from the United States during exercises.”
North Korea’s warning came in the wake of a summit meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping during which Trump told the Chinese leaders the United States would act alone if necessary to rein in the growing belligerence of North Korea.
“President Trump indicated to President Xi that . . . we would be happy to work with them, but we understand it creates unique problems for them and challenges and that we would, and are, prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to co-ordinate with us,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday.
Tillerson said the Chinese leader “shared the view that this has reached a very serious stage in terms of the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.”
“They discussed the challenges that introduces for both countries, but there’s a real commitment that we work together to see if this cannot be resolved in a peaceful way,” said Tillerson. “But in order for that to happen, North Korea’s posture has to change before there’s any basis for dialogue or discussions.”
Although Trump’s decision to conduct an airstrike Thursday was aimed solely at Syria, analysts have said there was a message for North Korea as well.
“To North Korea, the strike is a warning that Mr. Trump is willing to match action with his tough tweets warning that the U.S. will not permit Pyongyang to threaten American security by marrying its small nuclear arsenal with intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching our shores,” wrote Judith Miller and Charles Duelfer on Fox News.