North and South Korea ‘on the verge of nuclear war’
A senior North Korean diplomat warned a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York that “a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war” on the Korean Peninsula.
By Julian Ryall
02 Oct 2012
Pak Kil-yon, Pyongyang’s vice-foreign minster, put the blame for the tense state of inter-Korean relations firmly on South Korea’s conservative government and claimed the citizens of the North feel “shame” and “political terror.”
Monday’s speech was the first time a representative of North Korea has addressed the General Assembly since Kim Jong-un assumed power after the death of his father in December last year.
“Since taking office, the current South Korean government has caused the worst situation in North-South relations by making all inter-Korean agreements null and void,” Pak said, referring to pacts with previous South Korean administrations that sought reconciliation between the two ideological enemies and an expansion of economic co-operation.
Describing relations between the two governments as in “total bankruptcy,” Pak dismissed the South Korean government of Lee Myung-bak with the comment, “History will bring them to justice.”