North Korea Warns of Military Action
By Kim Sue-young
North Korea threatened to take stern military action Sunday, blasting the South Korean defense minister for his remarks on a preemptive strike against the North in the case of an imminent nuclear threat.
Last week, Minister Kim Tae-young said in a defense forum here that Seoul "would have to strike (Pyongyang) right away" if the North shows a clear sign of attacking with nuclear weapons.
"The remark is considered an open declaration of war," an unidentified spokesman for the general staff of the North Korean Army said in a statement carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency.
It continued that Pyongyang may take prompt and decisive military action.
The warning came two days after the North proposed having military talks to discuss telecommunication, customs and immigration issues regarding the joint Gaeseong Industrial Complex in the North.
A senior official of the South's unification ministry said, asking to remain anonymous, that the government will suggest holding the meeting after Feb. 1 when working-level inter-Korean talks over the operation of the industrial park take place.