North Korea has issued an unofficial response to the United Nations Security Council’s vote to implement the harshest sanctions on the communist dictatorship in years, shooting six “short-range projectiles” towards South Korea and employing increasingly absurd rhetoric against its southern neighbor in state media.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that South Korean military officials have confirmed Pyongyang’s firing of what they are describing as six “short-range projectiles” into the East Sea, the specific nature of which – whether they were rockets or missiles – remains unknown. The South Korean defense ministry confirmed the projectiles did not cause any damage and fell into the sea, and are believed to be a defiant response to the United Nations Security Council’s decision to impose significant sanctions on Pyongyang over its myriad human rights abuses and violations of UN law regarding nuclear development.
Yonhap cites a “military source” as stating that South Korea is anticipating that the launch “could be followed by additional provocations” and are standing by for such activity.
South Korea’s political parties have unanimously applauded the new sanctions, which include restrictions on major exports, full inspections of all North Korean planes and ships carrying cargo, and a ban on foreign countries accepting North Korean citizens as students in fields in which they could learn information useful for weapons development.
“I sincerely hope that the North will abandon its nuclear development program and embark on a path of change, and I will make further efforts for peace and unification of the Korean Peninsula,” South Korean President Park Geun-hye said in a statement this week regarding the sanctions.
In response, North Korea has published a report citing “zoologists” who believe President Park is an “ugly female bat.” The article in state-run Rodong Sinmun, “Ugly Female Bat-Disgrace of Worst Traitor,” asserts that “DPRK zoologists say that she has the similar mode of existence to a bat, when viewed in the light of her acts of treachery.” “She behaved like a bat which lives in such dingy place as cave,” the article continues, accusing Park of “swish[ing] her skirt to flatter the U.S. to prolong her dirty remaining days, fawn[ing] upon China today and is going to kowtow to Japan tomorrow.”
“This makes even a cat laugh,” the article contends.
While North Korea has targeted Park in particular, none of the permanent powers on the Security Council voted against the sanctions, including North Korea’s most prominent ally, China. The government of Russia forced a delay on the vote for two days, but eventually acceded to the vote. “Have they accommodated all of our concerns? Not entirely. But you know, we are working for consensus of course. You never get everything you want,” Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said of the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has extended its full-throated support to the sanctions. State news outlet Xinhua cites Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei as stating that the sanctions “should not affect the everyday life of people in the DPRK” and are necessary in this “complex and sensitive” political situation. The Chinese government added that it is urging North Korea to “abandon all nuclear weapons and other nuclear programs as well as weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs,” as well as hinting at pressuring the United States to initiate a dialog with Pyongyang. “China is willing to discuss the routes and steps of this parallel-track approach with relevant parties,” Xinhua reports without naming the relevant parties in question. Chinese officials have previously referred to curbing North Korean belligerence as a “U.S. obligation.”