North Korea’s state newspaper Rodong Sinmun has continued publishing a stream of violent invective, on Monday threatening a “horrible disaster” for North Korea should they continue their civil and military alliance with America.
In an article titled, “Ludicrous Acts of War Tigermoths,” Rodong Sinmun protests that the South Korean and American militaries have continued to conduct joint military exercises in anticipation of a potential North Korean nuclear attack. “Though the puppet forces kick off war hysteria, backed by the U.S., they are more than scabby sheep,” the article complains.
“If we fire, they will die. This is the inescapable fate of the puppet warmongers,” the piece warns.
Rodong goes on to call the military leaders of both nations “gangsters” and threaten “horrible disaster.” “It is as foolish an act as exposing the neck under straw cutter to dare counter the world-level military power equipped with powerful nuclear striking means,” the column reads.
Rodong Sinmun regularly publishes pieces such as this, though it has toned down its rhetoric against South Korea following the impeachment of conservative president Park Geun-hye and subsequent ascent of current president Moon Jae-in, a leftist who has sought dialogue with the regime. Moon has hardened his stance against North Korea with every subsequent missile test and threat, triggering increasingly angry warnings from North Korean state media. He has yet to face the misogynistic tirades common during the Park era, however.
The Rodong Sinmun article follows threats of a “massive military response” from American Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday, a response to the nation’s sixth nuclear test.
“Any threats to the United States or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response—a response both effective and overwhelming,” Mattis said. “Kim Jong-un should take heed the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses, and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea.”
Rodong Sinmun published images on Sunday of dictator Kim Jong-un appearing to inspect what the newspaper claimed to be a nuclear warhead, confirming that a seismic event noted by international meteorologists was a nuclear blast. The publication alleged that the test was the successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb. “All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes ranging from the production of weapons-grade nuclear materials to precision processing of components and their assembling were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” it added.
That nuclear test followed a missile launch last week targeting Japan. The missile flew over Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, triggering nuclear warning alarms and sending residents running to shelters before collapsing in the Pacific Ocean.
The tests may continue. The South Korean newswire agency Yonhap reported Monday that South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) briefed the nation’s legislators with information suggesting that North Korea may soon test another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to celebrate the anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the communist organ that controls the nation. North Korea would observe that date in October.
The briefing also featured doubts that Sunday’s test involved hydrogen fusion. “North Korea claimed an H-bomb test, but we are analyzing it on the assumption that there could be three possibilities—a hydrogen bomb, an atomic detonation and a boosted fissile weapon,” NIS said in their statement.