North Korea warns U.S. of “horrible disaster”; also, labels Swiss human-rights abusers for refusing to sell them ski lifts

posted at 3:21 pm on October 9, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Their most recent bout of saber-rattling delusions of grandeur finally quieted back down earlier this year for a relatively quiet summer on the North Korean front, but Pyongyang seems incorrigibly determined to keep itself in the firing line of international humiliation and economic sanctioning. This week, the Norks put their army on “high alert” and announced that they are ready to flex their “powerful military muscles” if the United States goes ahead with with joint naval exercises near their ‘hood. Do you really want to go there again, North Korea?

A spokesman for the North’s military warned the United States of “disastrous consequences” for moving a group of ships, including an aircraft carrier, into a South Korean port.

“In this connection, the units of all services and army corps level of the KPA received an emergency order from its supreme command to re-examine the operation plans already ratified by it and keep themselves fully ready to promptly launch operations anytime,” the spokesman said, referring to the Korean People’s Army (KPA).

“The U.S. will be wholly accountable for the unexpected horrible disaster to be met by its imperialist aggression forces’ nuclear strike means,” the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

South Korea’s Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said later on Tuesday there was no indication of unusual activity by the North’s military. …

“We’ve seen this type of rhetoric from North Korea before,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “Such comments from North Korea will do nothing to end (its) isolation or reduce the costs (it) pays for defying the international community.”

This is all pretty routine by now: The North Koreans get their knickers in a twist over some allied military exercise in the region, then vent their relatively impotent rage by making some vague and farcical threats of military retaliation. The Norks have, however, followed through with their threat to restart an old nuclear reactor, which means renewed possibilities for them to export nuclear materials and technologies to other states and eventually improve their own capabilities, via the NYT:

South Korea’s main intelligence agency confirmed on Tuesday that North Korea has restarted a Soviet-era nuclear reactor that has been used to obtain plutonium for bombs, according to South Korean legislators.

Nuclear experts in the United States, including at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, reported last month that satellite photographs indicated that North Korea had restarted the five-megawatt reactor at its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang, the capital. …

Until the North shut the reactor down in 2007 in a short-lived nuclear disarmament deal with the United States, the reactor’s spent fuel was the country’s source of plutonium fuel for weapons. American intelligense officials estimate that the North, which conducted three underground nuclear tests between 2006 and February of this year, secured enough plutonium from reprocessing the spent fuel to build as many as a dozen bombs.

The country has also said it is running a program that can provide it with another type of bomb fuel: highly enriched uranium.

It’s something to keep an eye on, although the most ridiculous part of this latest display of bellicosity is how closely it coincides with Pyongyang’s current endeavor to build a showy, glitzy ski resort (in an impoverished country with a 0.02 percent skiing population) and their subsequent realization that they have no friends from which they can purchase ski lifts. You mad, North Korea?

The North Korean government labeled Switzerland’s refusal to sell it ski lifts for a new luxury ski resort “a human rights abuse.” Characterized in the press as another childish tantrum by Kim Jong Un, the belligerent reaction may nevertheless be indicative of what kind of sanctions may really hurt North Korea’s ruling elite.

“This is an intolerable mockery of the social system and the people of the DPRK and a serious human rights abuse that politicizes sports and discriminates against the Koreans,” KCNA, North Korea’s official news outlet, stated in a release. …

The Swiss government blocked the deal, however, invoking UN sanctions banning the sale of luxury goods to North Korea following underground nuclear tests conducted by the Hermit Kingdom on February 12.


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We know the NorKs talk too much and love to make threats, but it’s usually all talk.
Frankly, I’m more concerned about our own government right now – they’re showing very clearly right now that they are actually capable of taking action against US citizens.

dentarthurdent on October 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Frankly, I’m more concerned about our own government right now

dentarthurdent on October 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

+17 trillion

John the Libertarian on October 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Hey North Korea, Ben Bernanke will soon be available to run your economy. Soon you can have all the ski lifts you want.

Oil Can on October 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

It’s All About The Pentiums

Makes about as much sense as anything in North Korea.

Marcola on October 9, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Speaking of North Korea – below is a State sanctioned broadcast of the highlights of a recent Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State football game. Enjoy!

Seriously, it’s hilarious [and so dead-on]:

Commie football game broadcast

OhEssYouCowboys on October 9, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Now there’s some Wacko-birds!

SailorMark on October 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM

“The U.S. will be wholly accountable for the unexpected horrible disaster to be met by its imperialist aggression forces’ nuclear strike means,” the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

Be aflaid. Be velly velly aflaid.

I wonder if any PhD Nork nuclear engineers could take a few days to design and build a ski lift for Krazy Kimmie? We had ski lifts in the States long before the Manhattan Project got started, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Maybe he could be persuaded to make the cable a little thin, so that one fine winter day, oopsies, down goes Krazy Kimmie into the snow!

Steve Z on October 9, 2013 at 3:55 PM

No Slalom, No Peace.

Cicero43 on October 9, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I like the guy on the left, “hold me back bro!”

WitchDoctor on October 9, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Sounds like the harvest is in.

Sounds like it wasn’t good.

Wander on October 9, 2013 at 4:01 PM

The NORK’s are going about this all wrong. If they offered to re-engineer the 404Care website on a panic work schedule, I’m sure the President would be happy to buy them some chairlifts.

MTF on October 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Everything about North Korea is an echo chamber for internal use. So many palace backstabbing games going on over there…all losers.

albill on October 9, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Ever try to jaywalk in Switzerland? Bastards.

Seth Halpern on October 9, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Where is Rodman in that picture?

besser tot als rot on October 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Horrible disaster?
They’re about five years too late…

CaptFlood on October 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM

North Korea warns U.S. of “horrible disaster”

Yeah, we already know about Obamacare. Boy, those North Koreans really are behind the times, aren’t they?!

Sterling Holobyte on October 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM

He’s a month late on the horrible disaster thing.

The VMA’s were last month.

uniclone on October 9, 2013 at 4:33 PM

OK

Horrible disaster?
They’re about five years too late…

CaptFlood on October 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I’ll call it: THREAD WINNER!

Missilengr on October 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM

North Korea’s nuclear weapon is a bottle of Diet Coke and a Mentos.

CrustyB on October 9, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Sad fact: NK’s health care system runs more smoothly than Ocare.

mankai on October 9, 2013 at 4:47 PM

American intelligense officials estimate


WHF wrote that? Is this affirmative action prose or what? OH! CHOE SANG-HUN writing for the fish wrap of record wrote that. Lemme clue you in, Choe, pay attention to your American-made spell checker program. Turn it on if you have to do so. Most of all, stop wasting your skills with NYT.

ExpressoBold on October 9, 2013 at 4:54 PM

They should put Kim Jong Un on a donkey instead. He’ll be right at home.

rubberneck on October 9, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Maybe King Barack can sell the Norks some of our nuclear weapons to fund His Majesties economic policies.

Seeing as the Norks would pay in counterfeit US currency would only be icing on the cake.

GarandFan on October 9, 2013 at 6:47 PM

North Korea warns U.S. of “horrible disaster”

I hate to break it to the corpulent Unster, but that horrible disaster already occurred, the day Obama was elected.

RandallinHerndon on October 9, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Where is Rodman in that picture?

Kneeling behind Kim.

And see you later. I’ve got to launder Canadian ski lifts through Cuba to make myself a few million!

andycanuck on October 9, 2013 at 8:27 PM

What, Garand Fan? The Norks printing as much of their own U.S. money as often as they want? But that’ll destroy the U.S. econo… Oh. Never mind.

andycanuck on October 9, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Kenny Blankenship there on the right. Indeed!

Buttercup on October 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM