In an unprecedented move of public intimidation, North Korea threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday.
“As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction," said North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong during the meeting.
The comment drew immediate criticism from UN member nations, including France, Germany and Britain. British ambassador Joanne Adamson called the comment “completely inappropriate,” cautioning that the discussions had taken a wrong turn.
Spain’s Ambassador Javier Gil Catalina also was taken aback by the North Korea’s gall.
"In the 30 years of my career I've never heard anything like it and it seems to me that we are not speaking about something that is even admissible, we are speaking about a threat of the use of force that is prohibited by Article 2.4 of the United Nations charter," Catalina said.
The comment came as a response to South Korea’s reaction following the North’s nuclear bomb test last week. South Korea has told its northern neighbor that it is prepared to take precautionary measures if they feel threatened by an immediate attack.
North Korea, known for its volatility, responded in kind with the “final destruction” comment. The North Korean diplomat also took some liberties in threatening a harsh retaliation against U.S. hostile actions, which could allude to any number of instances, including the United States’ push to impose sanctions on the DPRK.
"If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward the DPRK to the last, rendering the situation complicated, it (North Korea) will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession," Jon said.
U.S. Ambassador Laura Kennedy tweeted that the final destruction statements were worrisome and “offensive.” The U.N. is currently considering further sanctions on North Korea — already one of the most heavily sanctioned countries on the planet — to cut off its government’s funding.