Published February 19, 2013
North Korea issued a stark warning to South Korea Tuesday that if its international allies continue to push for tougher United Nations resolutions, the country would face its "final destruction," The Australian reported.
"As the saying goes, 'a newborn puppy knows no fear of a tiger' -- South Korea's erratic behavior could only herald its final destruction," Jon Yong Ryong, the North Korean envoy, told a session of the UN Conference on Disarmament.
The report pointed out that the conference is usually a venue where the two countries trade jabs, but North Korea’s recent nuclear test adds some urgency to the comments.
European Union finance ministers condemned the Feb. 12 nuclear test by North Korea and have imposed trade and economic sanctions on the Asian nation.
A statement by the 27 European Union finance ministers, who met Monday in Brussels, said they condemn the test "in the strongest terms" and demand that North Korea abstain from further tests. The statement also urged North Korea to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay.
Monday's action brings the number of North Koreans subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze to 26, and the number of sanctioned companies to 33. The ministers also banned the export of components for ballistic missiles, such as certain types of aluminum, and prohibited trade in new public bonds from North Korea.
Meanwhile, South Korea's outgoing president warned that North Korea has pushed itself further into a corner with its recent nuclear test.
President Lee Myung-bak said Tuesday in his farewell address that North Korea will only face international sanctions and isolation if it hangs on to its nuclear and missile programs.
South Korea has pressed for tighter U.N. sanctions on North Korea since Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test last week. North Korea defends the underground blast as an act of deterrence against U.S. hostility.
Lee leaves office next Monday. The relations between the two Koreas have frayed badly during his single, five-year tenure.
His successor, Park Geun-hye, has called for reopening dialogue with Pyongyang but also remains firmly opposed to North Korea's nuclear program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report