North Korea has once again ruffled diplomatic feathers after it threatened to use nuclear weapons against the United States. In an interview to British news channel Sky News, North Korea’s ambassador to the UK reiterated that his country will “not hesitate” to use its nuclear arsenal if it feels threatened. In a very rare interview, senior North Korean official Hyun Hak-bong clarified his stance and said that his country possesses nuclear weapons that they are ready to use when required.
When asked about North Korea’s enmity with the United States and the possibility of some kind of U.S. Military action against them, Hyun Hak-bong said, “We are prepared. That is why I say if a sparkle of a fire is made on the Korean peninsula, it will lead to a nuclear war. We don’t say empty words. We mean what we mean. It is not the United States that has a monopoly on nuclear weapons strikes.”
The startled Sky News reporter sought clarification from the ambassador and asked him again if he was serious about the threat and whether North Korea has the capability to fire a nuclear-tipped missile.
“So can I just be clear: you are telling me that the North Korea has the ability now to fire a nuclear missile?” he asked.
The ambassador replied, “Any time, any time, yes.”
Hyun Hak-bong also used the interview as an opportunity to hit back at the allegations of human rights violations against North Korea. This came just days after the United Nations launched a fresh investigation into North Korea’s dubious human rights record. When asked about the revelations made by North Korean defectors who escaped to South Korea last year, claiming they were beaten and tortured, he stated that those were fabricated stories.
“Those allegations are based on fabricated stories by the defectors from the North. Do you know the difference between human beings and animals? Human beings have a conscience and morality. If they do not have a conscience and a morality the are like nothing. They’re animals. That is why we call the defectors animals. They are no better than animals. They’re human scum.”
The North Korean ambassador’s threatening remarks came 12 months after he had made similar statements after South Korea and the U.S. conducted joint military exercises near the Korean peninsula. Last month, they also released a “disastrous doom” video threatening the United States.
[Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images]