Published June 10, 2009
North Korean media said Wednesday that a U.S. pledge to extend its nuclear umbrella to South Korea and Japan over military threats from Pyongyang would consist of a declaration of nuclear war.
The commentary in the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea is the latest in what is becoming increasingly frequent criticism against the U.S. nuclear umbrella covering its allies in Asia.
The report, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, also criticized President Obama's vision for a world without nuclear weapons laid out in April, calling it "falsehood."
"If the United States seriously wants nuclear disarmament, it should set an example" by carrying it out itself, the commentary said.
The U.S. special envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, said Tuesday evening that the United States will do what is necessary for the security of its allies but has no plans to invade the North or overthrow its government by force.
Meanwhile, Russia has obtained information on North Korea's plans to launch a ballistic missile but does not know when it will take place, Interfax news agency quoted a senior military source as saying on Wednesday.
"We have certain information about the type and characteristics of the missile. However, we do not have accurate data on the timing of its launch," Reuters quoted the source as saying.
South Korea has recently said the North is preparing to test a long-range missile capable of reaching U.S. territory and mid-range missiles that could strike South Korea or Japan.
On Tuesday, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said there were signs that North Korea was preparing new missile launches.
"Information is coming to us that there are signs of preparations for the launch of missiles," Interfax quoted the unnamed Russian source as saying.