(WASHINGTON) — The White House is taking the latest threat from North Korea more seriously than previous statements from Pyongyang due to last year’s successful long-range missile test.
On Thursday, the North Korean National Defense Commission said, “We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”
The diatribe from the nation’s highest military body was intended to warn the U.S. and its allies in the Pacific Rim that Pyongyang will resist further attempts at freezing its rogue nuclear program.
While the talk from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is similar to that of his late father, Kim Jong-Il, the U.S. is more concerned than before because of the completed Unha 3 rocket test last December. It means North Korea can presumably launch a long-range ballistic missile containing a nuclear warhead, giving its government more clout with the international community and worrying its neighbors, particularly South Korea and Japan.
At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said “further provocations would only increase Pyongyang’s isolation,” while Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that if Pyongyang conducts another unsanctioned test, “it again represents a violation of the U.N. Security resolutions, a violation of international law.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN