Published January 10, 2003
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea warned the United States on Friday that a "new Korean War will finally lead to the Third World War" and dared the Americans to engage it in a "fire-to-fire standoff."
The inflammatory comments, not uncommon for state-sponsored North Korean media, came from newspaper article carried by the North's official news agency, KCNA.
Just hours earlier, North Korea announced that it was withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty amid an intensifying standoff with the United States over the North's nuclear programs.
The Northern newspaper article urged North Koreans to be on heightened "vigilance against the reckless military and political moves of the U.S. warmongers."
It said U.S. efforts to have North Korea abandon its nuclear ambitions amounted to a "strategy for domination" and said "let us see who will win and who will be defeated in the fire-to-fire standoff."
North Korea added that "a new Korean War will finally lead to the Third World War. If a war breaks out on the Korean peninsula where military and strategic interests of neighboring big countries are entangled, they will be embroiled in it, like it or not."