Published : 2013-02-13 21:40
Updated : 2013-02-13 21:40
North Korea said Wednesday the situation on the Korean Peninsula was so serious that even the “slightest accidental incident” could lead to an all-out war.
In a statement carried by its official agency the Korean Central News Agency, the North cited the joint naval exercise conducted by South Korea and the U.S. in the East Sea prior to the North’s nuclear test on Tuesday as an “explicit act of invasion.”
“The provocation schemes by the enemy forces are spreading in steps over our sovereign state’s peaceful launch of a satellite,” the message said.
Last month, the U.N. Security Council toughened sanctions on the North for carrying out a long-range rocket launch on Dec. 12 in violation of U.N. resolutions.
The KCNA said the source of tension on the Korean Peninsula was not the launch but the hostile policy of the forces threatening military measures against their right to peaceful space development.
In a separate statement, the KCNA said the fortification of the North’s nuclear deterrent was part of the measures in response to the hostile policy of the U.S.
A day after its third nuclear test, the most powerful yet, North Korean media portrayed the detonation as the stunning achievement of Kim Jong-un in an effort to boost the young leader’s personality cult, local observers said Wednesday.
Analysts in Seoul said media outlets in the communist country such as the KCNA, Chosun Central TV and Rodong Sinmun claimed Tuesday’s atomic test was a complete success, and featured many articles that hailed Kim as a hero who is victorious in every endeavor he pursues.
North Korean experts said this trend in coverage is different from the relatively “modest” attention that was given to Kim Jong-il after the two previous detonations.
“The North seems to be using the nuclear test as a tool to strengthen the regime and move forward with the personality cult of Kim Jong-un,” said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Seoul’s Dongguk University, adding that personality cults have been the trademark of all North Korean leaders.
Kim, believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, took power following the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011.
He holds the military rank of marshal and is first secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, head of the party’s Central Military Committee and top member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo.
Other experts said that by highlighting the young leader, Pyongyang may be moving to bring Kim Jong-un out of the shadow of his father, who was instrumental in allowing the country to develop nuclear capabilities.
The KCNA, the country’s official news wire service, released stories that covered the elation felt by the people and military personnel on hearing that Pyongyang showed the world its nuclear deterrence capability.