N. Korea warns U.S. against war
PYONGYANG, North Korea -- In its latest sideswipe at the U.S. following President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" speech, North Korea has accused the United States of plotting a war to occupy the communist state.
Saying that it has "powerful offensive and defensive" means at its disposal Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, warned the U.S. against any military action saying North Korea "is neither Afghanistan nor Yugoslavia nor Iraq."
Last Tuesday, during his first State of the Union address, Bush labeled North Korea, along with Iran, Iraq and their "terrorist allies," part of an "axis of evil" which he said "threatens the peace of the world."
North Korea has described Bush's comments as "little short of declaring a war."
"He openly revealed his dangerous design to seize North Korea by forces of arms, groundlessly linking it with terrorism," said the Rodong article, carried by the North's state-run news agency, KCNA, monitored in Seoul.
The "option to 'strike' on the lips of the U.S. is not its monopoly," it said.
"Our revolutionary armed forces have unlimited striking power and no aggressor against North Korea will go safe no matter where they are on earth."
North Korea has long been suspected by the U.S. of seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear devices and the long-range missile capability with which to deliver them.
Under the previous Clinton administration Washington agreed to provide North Korea with fuel and funds if it agreed to suspend construction of a nuclear facility which defense officials said could have produced material for weapons.
However, Bush administration officials say that policy is tantamount to blackmail.
Since coming to office Bush has ordered a thorough review of relations with North Korea, signaling he intends to take a tough line with the country's secretive leadership and the perceived threat it poses to the United States.
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