North Korea Reaffirms “Stronger Deterrent”

North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland released a statement regarding the South Korea and the U.S. joint military exercises and counter-measures against the Cheonan incident and asserted that, “We will confront firmly enemies’ military display with a stronger and more terrifying deterrent, which has been made even more powerful by the Military-first spirit.”

According to the statement, which was issued by the Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) on Tuesday, the Committee stated that, “Even though the U.S. and its puppets try to frighten us with an armed protest and warning, our people will not raise so much as an eyebrow at them. Trampling them with an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth is our nature and character.”

Both the North’s National Defense Commission and Foreign Ministry denounced the ROK-US Joint Military Exercises and 2+2 meeting on the 24th, a day before the Exercises began.

The National Defense Commission warned South Korea and the U.S. that, “We will initiate a retaliatory holy war in our own way, based on our nuclear deterrent at a necessary time.” Simultaneously, the North Korean Foreign Ministry added that, “We will manage by strengthening the nuclear deterrent in diverse ways and taking physical measures.”

Additionally, Chosun Shinbo, the official publication of Chongryon (General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan), asserted yesterday, “We will not make empty rhetorical threats,” hinting at a possible third nuclear test.

However, most experts on North Korea predict that the probability of the third nuclear test is quite low while the U.S. and South Korea are carrying out joint military exercises.

Meanwhile, in the statement issued via the KCNA, the North showed a small conciliatory gesture when it said that, “The truth of the Cheonan incident has not revealed yet and the UN urged us to solve the problem through dialogue and negotiations. The issue of dispatching our examination team to the incident spot has been under discussion between Chosun (North Korea) and the U.S. In these circumstances, it is wrong to mention sanctions.”

The United Nations Command and the North Korean Army met in Panmunjom on the 23rd, but were unable to reconcile their differences.