Pyongyang raised tensions a notch by reviving its rhetoric in a commentary in the state-run Minju Joson newspaper Tuesday.The question arises as to just why--with Iran around--the Jerusalem Post is suddenly so interested in North Korea?
"Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive means ... as well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country's dignity and sovereignty even a bit," said the commentary, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
It appeared to be the first time that North Korea referred to its nuclear arsenal as "offensive" in nature. Pyongyang has long claimed that its nuclear weapons program is a deterrent and only for self-defense against what it calls US attempts to invade it.
The tough talk came as South Korea and the US lead an effort at the UN Security Council to have the North punished for its nuclear test with tough sanctions.
David Hazony addresses the question:
Oh, and if you wonder why Israelis are so concerned about North Korean nukes, maybe it’s because Israelis feel in their bones what many Americans have yet to figure out: that there is no better indicator as to how the administration will really handle the Iranian threat tomorrow than to look at how it handles North Korea today. There is, potentially, a direct link between American failure here and the likelihood of an Israeli attack there.
The link is even stronger seeing that North Korea has changed its tune from claiming their nuclear arms is purely for defensive purposes to now threatening to use it for offensive purposes--Iran has claimed that it has no intention to create nuclear arms at all. If we are content to rely on the say-so of countries such as these, we are going to get burned.
So far, the US has taken a stronger stand against North Korea, but the response has been just words.