North Korea Says U.S. Wants to Commit 'Terrorism'

Reuters News

Tue April 8, 2003 02:07 AM ET
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Tuesday the United States wanted to "perpetrate military terrorism" against the North because of its suspected nuclear weapons ambitions.
On the eve of an initial U.N. Security Council review of Pyongyang's controversial nuclear plans, North Korea's media unleashed a fresh tirade against Washington, reiterating their description of it as "the kingpin of international terrorism."

"The U.S. rulers are keen to perpetrate military terrorism, state terrorism against the DPRK, groundlessly terming it 'terrorism sponsor' and 'a rogue state'," said the communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, in a commentary reported by the official KCNA news agency.

"This only reminds one of a thief crying 'stop the thief'," the paper said. DPRK is the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The impoverished communist state has accused the United States of pressing for the Security Council to take up the long-running nuclear standoff as a prelude to war once the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq is over.

Washington has lumped North Korea with Iraq and Iran in an "axis of evil" and suspects Pyongyang is trying to develop and spread nuclear weapons.

Rodong Sinmun said the Iraqi war had proved the United States was the kingpin of international terrorism.

"The U.S. is widely known for resorting to brutal state terrorism under various absurd pretexts. It is ridiculous and ludicrous, therefore, for the U.S. to pull up the DPRK, behaving as if it were an 'international terrorism judge'," the newspapers said.

Pyongyang has said it would regard any sanctions emanating from the U.N. talks as a declaration of war. It says it will only discuss its nuclear ambitions with the United States, as part of negotiations for a non-aggression pact.

Washington refuses, saying any talks must also include South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

Rodong Sinmun said North Korea, which the United States says has acknowledged developing a covert nuclear arms program, would do everything it could to withstand U.S. pressure.

"The U.S. is not qualified to talk about someone's issue of terrorism. If it truly wants to discuss the issue it should admit its hideous acts of sponsoring terrorism," the paper said.