North Korea warns war would go nuclear

AFP, Friday 17 Dec 2010

North Korea warned that another war with South Korea would involve nuclear weapons

Peace protest
South Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally denouncing its live-fire drills on Yeonpyeong Island, in front of Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday 17 December 2010. (AP)

North Korea warned that another war with South Korea would involve nuclear weapons, as diplomatic efforts continued to ease high tensions over its deadly artillery attack and atomic ambitions.

Uriminzokkiri, the official website of the communist state, said in a commentary seen Friday that war on the Korean Peninsula is only a matter of time.

"Because of the South Koreans' reckless war policies, it is not about war or peace on the Korean peninsula but when the war will break out," the website said.

"If war breaks out, it will lead to nuclear warfare and not be limited to the Korean peninsula," it said in a posting dated Thursday.

In a separate commentary, ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun Friday described the peninsula as the world's most dangerous place.

It reiterated calls for a formal peace treaty with Washington and the withdrawal of 28,500 US troops from South Korea.

"The Korean peninsula remains a region fraught with the greatest danger of war in the world," the paper said. "This is entirely attributable to the US pursuance of the policy of aggression against the DPRK (North Korea)."

The North frequently claims nuclear war is imminent. But military tensions have risen sharply since a clash with South Korea on a border island on November 23.

Pyongyang's disclosure last month of an apparently working uranium enrichment plant, a potential new source of bomb-making material, also heightened regional security fears.

US politician Bill Richardson is paying a private visit to Pyongyang to try to ease tensions.

The US envoy to stalled talks on the North's nuclear disarmament, Sung Kim, was to hold talks in Seoul later Friday with his South Korean counterpart Wi Sung-Lac.

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