Add Israel to the list of countries North Korea and Kim Jong Un appears to have a major problem with.
The authoritarian’s regime responded Sunday to Israel’s defense minister’s recent comments by threatening and warning the state while calling Israel’s holding of nuclear weapons “illegal,” making Israel just the latest country to feel the North’s harsh wrath from afar.
Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman called Kim’s regime a “crazy and radical group” while also stating it was an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as Hezbollah. He also said the North’s ongoing diplomatic row with the United States over its nuclear and missile defense programs had “direct implications” for Israel, Haaretz reported.
In kind, the North Korean Foreign Ministry released a statement that not only ripped Lieberman for being “reckless” and his behavior “sordid and wicked” but also accused Israel of disrupting peace in the Middle East and backed the Palestinians' struggle for statehood.
The statement read Israel should "think twice about the consequences to be entailed by its smear campaign against the DPRK [North Korea] to cover up the crimes of occupying Arab territories and disturbing peace process in the Middle East."
A direct threat as a result of the remark stated the North is the "steadfast will and spirit of the service personnel and people of the DPRK to give merciless, thousand-fold punishment to whoever dares hurt the dignity of its supreme leadership."
Along with the U.S., Israel joins Japan and South Korea as countries and American allies directly threatened with allusions to violent conflict by the North.
As recently as Sunday the North issued a decree to sink a U.S. submarine currently stationed near South Korea, stating the U.S. was increasing tensions in the region due to its military’s presence.
“The moment the USS Michigan tries to budge even a little, it will be doomed to face the miserable fate of becoming an underwater ghost without being able to come to the surface,” a North propaganda website Urminzokkiri said, according to The Independent. “The urgent fielding of the nuclear submarine in the waters off the Korean Peninsula timed to coincide with the deployment of the super aircraft carrier strike group, is intended to further intensify military threats toward our republic.”
Located some 650 miles to the east of the Korean peninsula, Japan has long felt the brunt of the North’s threats and even its medium-range ballistic missiles, most due to its alliance with the U.S. and its allowing the U.S. to station several bases up and down its archipelago. In March, the North fired off four missiles that crashed down into the Sea of Japan off the western coast. And with tensions rising, many Japanese citizens have taken to preparations for a potential nuclear conflict, ordering nuclear bomb shelters and even air purifiers to stave off the deadly effects such an attack would inflict.
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