(Photo: AP Photo / Vincent Yu)
In response to the U.N. Security Council's approval of tightening sanctions against North Korea, the totalitarian nation's leader Kim Jong Un has threatened the United States with "powerful physical countermeasures," and shown a resolve to go ahead with its weapons programs.
"We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people," says a statement by the North Korea National Defense Commission.
The commission, headed by Jong Un, goes on to say the North will "conduct a nuclear test as part of a 'new phase' of combat with the United States… Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival."
It called the UN Security Council "a marionette of the U.S." The Security Council this week approved a resolution condemning the successful launch of a missile by North Korea on Dec. 12. Though considered the biggest ally of the North, China also voted to approve the resolution. China is also threatening to withdraw foreign aid to North Korea if it goes ahead with a planned nuclear rocket launch.
"The UNSC should apologize for its crime of seriously encroaching upon the independence of a sovereign state ... and repeal all the unreasonable 'resolutions' at once," the official Korean Central News Agency says.
According to the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the North may have made enough progress to test a weapon in weeks or days if the nation's leadership so desires.
The North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear site, where weapons were tested in 2006 and 2009, may be in a continued state of readiness, the institute says in a statement. "Snowfall and subsequent clearing operations as well as tracks in the snow reveal ongoing activity at buildings and on roadways near the possible test tunnel," it adds, basing its analysis on satellite imagery.
Jong Un appears to be following the pattern that his father, Kim Jong-il, established. Jong-il died in December 2011.