North Korea’s state propaganda outlets have not tempered their rhetoric in the hours following a shocking missile launch over northern Japan early Tuesday morning, instead threatening the United States and its allies with “nuclear catastrophe” if they continue to object to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
In multiple columns posted on its website Tuesday, the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper threatened to attack America and its allies and vowed to continue to “sharpen its just nuclear treasured sword,” despite international condemnation for its nuclear program.
“The DPRK is showing no mercy, making the outrageous forces being at its beck and call with just nukes in order to have the country free from the nuclear threat,” one article read. “If the U.S. persists in the reckless anti-DPRK moves, sanctions and pressure, it will eventually meet a miserable fate while spending hard time.”
“So long as the U.S. and its vassal forces persist with such actions and imperialism, the root cause of injustice and evils, remains, [sic] the DPRK will further sharpen its just nuclear treasured sword in its hand and defend independence and justice with nukes and usher in a new era of national prosperity with their might,” the article concluded.
This particular piece expressed anger at American diplomats’ softening of tone in light of North Korea walking back its threat to attack Guam. Following a North Korean announcement they would postpone such a preemptive attack, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lauded the communist regime’s “restraint” and has hinted at the potential for talks with Pyongyang.
“The U.S. Secretary of State, the national security advisor to the President and other VIPs vied with each other in claiming that ‘the U.S. is willing to have negotiations with the north’ … [t]his is nothing but a revelation of the sinister intention to continue resorting to the moves for stifling the DPRK,” the article protested, using the government’s preferred abbreviation for the country (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).
A second article published on the Rodong Sinmun‘s website Tuesday warns of “nuclear catastrophe” if the government of South Korea continues to maintain an alliance with America. The U.S.-South Korean alliance, the article alleges, is “an unpardonable act of volunteering to go as servants for their master’s war against the north, indifferent to the destiny of the nation.”
Allying with the United States, Rodong claims, “is indicative of the stupidity and sycophancy toward the U.S. by the puppet group.” Rodong Sinmun regularly referred to the South Korean government of president Park Geun-hye as a “puppet group” commanded by Washington and has only recently begun to use the epithet against current president Moon Jae-in.
On Monday evening in the United States—Tuesday morning in Japan—North Korea fired a missile towards Japanese territory. It flew mostly over Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan, threatening a number of major population centers. The missile ultimately broke apart and fell into the Pacific Ocean after flying over Hokkaido. Before it broke apart, however, northern Japan residents awoke to emergency nuclear alarm systems warning them to seek “sturdy” buildings and find shelter in the event that the missile was nuclear-capable and may have landed on the island.
While North Korea has typically shot missiles in Japan’s general direction, they usually fly south and break apart in the sea before flying over any Japanese territory.
Following the launch, President Donald Trump released a statement warning North Korea that “all options are on the table” to handle their belligerence. “The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” Trump asserted. Trump also discussed the situation in a phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where both reaffirmed their commitment to diffuse the North Korean threat.
Shortly before the missile launched, Rodong Sinmun threatened to “bury the entirety of the U.S. under water if the U.S. brings in the cloud of war of aggression on this soil,” what appears to be a reference to the extensive flooding occurring in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Last week, the propaganda outlet warned “mad guy” Trump that the “nightmare of a nuclear disaster is haunting the U.S. distressed with uneasiness and horror [sic].”