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N.K. threatens ‘retaliation war’ against S. Korea

North Korea on Thursday threatened to wage a “retaliation war” against South Korea if Seoul does not apologize for allegedly “defaming” the North’s recent celebrations of the birth of founder Kim Il-sung.

Pyongyang said Seoul’s Lee Myung-bak administration insulted the “supreme dignity” of its regime by criticizing its rocket launch when it celebrated the centenary of its late founder Kim’s birth on April 15.

“The puppet traitor group should immediately apologize for the grave crime of insulting the Taeyangjeol event (Kim Il-sung’s birthday),” the North’s government, party and other groups said in a statement through the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

“Otherwise, our military’s anger will explode to wage a war of retaliation and wipe out the puppet traitor group from this land for good.”

In the statement, the North said Lee’s comments ― on how the North could have diverted the money spent on the rocket launch to buying corn for the North Korean people ― insulted the North Korean government and people.

Lee said in a radio address on April 16 that the North’s rocket launch was estimated to have cost Pyongyang about $850 million, equivalent to 2.5 million tons of corn which could feed the North Korean people for six years.

Lee’s response showed that he intended to create conflict, the North said, especially when the new leader Kim Jong-un offered to cooperate with anyone who desires the reunification of the two Koreas in his congratulatory speech during the celebration of the centenary.

Separately on Wednesday, the North’s military also vowed to mercilessly retaliate against South Korea for hurting the dignity of its supreme leadership, after some South Koreans held anti-Pyongyang events in Seoul.

“As even the heart of Seoul is served as a base for provocative acts of hurting the dignity of the (North)’s supreme leadership, we will take special action to blow up everything there,” the Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army warned through the KCNA.

Pyongyang’s warnings come as tensions rise on the Korean peninsula, after the U.N. Security Council strongly condemned the North’s rocket launch and sought additional sanctions against the poverty-stricken state.

By Kim Yoon-mi (