North Korea Vows Nuke Tests Will Target U.S.

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 24 2013 11:27 AM

North Korea Vows Nuke Tests Will Target U.S., "Sworn Enemy of the Korean People"

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This file picture taken by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 12, 2012 shows North Korean rocket Unha-3, carrying the satellite Kwangmyongsong-3

Photo by KNS/AFP/Getty Images.

Right. So on Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council condemned a North Korean rocket launch in December and extended sanctions against the country. Shockingly, North Korea has responded by announcing plans for new nuclear tests to "target" the United States. 

The news was announced by the country's National Defense Commission, run by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un who blamed the United States for the new U.N. sanctions. The statement explained:

"We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people...settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival."
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The statement doesn't give a date for the newest rounds of tests. Here's the New York Times with some more information on what, specifically, North Korea is likely to try:

By a “nuclear test of higher level,” North Korea most likely meant that it was seeking the technology of building nuclear warheads small enough to mount on long-range missiles, analysts here said. They said that North Korea could detonate a uranium bomb this time to demonstrate its ability to produce weapons-grade uranium. The North’s two previous nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009, used some of its limited stockpile of plutonium.

So much for hopes that Kim Jong-Un would depart from Kim Jong-Il's approach to foreign relations.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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