North Korea has warned that it was monitoring Britain “carefully” after it insulted the dignity of its leader Kim Jong Un.
In a statement attacking the nation for statements made by its Defence Secretary, a state-linked organisation warned the UK against continuing efforts to force it to denuclearise.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) carried a statement lambasting UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
It said he had given a “reckless remark” disparaging North Korea’s nuclear development during a visit to Scotland with NATO ambassadors last Friday.
Fallon told reporters at the event at HM Naval Base Clyde, a nuclear submarine facility near Glasgow: “Today the nuclear dangers are intensifying from a reckless North Korea and increasingly aggressive Russia.”
Pyongyang did not appear to appreciate these remarks.
“The Secretary of State for Defence pigheadedly branded the DPRK’s nuclear deterrence as a threat to the UK and even dared to impugn the dignity of our supreme leadership,” a spokesman for the Korea-Europe Association, a civil group sponsored by North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in Monday’s statement.
“This is an act that can never be tolerated.”
The spokesman added that Fallon’s “reckless remark is an unsound claim to find an impertinent fake excuse to justify their [the UK’s] pursuit of nuclear weapons modernization.” He insisted that Pyongyang was developing its nuclear arsenal for self-defence purposes.
- Hannah Mckay/Reuters
“Recently some British politicians are saying that the possibility of British involvement cannot be ruled out in case an armed conflict takes place on the Korean peninsula,” the statement said. “The DPRK is watching their moves carefully with due vigilance.”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have both condemned Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests, labelling them “illegal” and “reckless.” A spokeswoman for 10 Downing Street also refused to rule out the possibility of joining the US in a war against North Korea, the Evening Standard reported last month.
The White House on Monday rejected negotiating with Pyongyang, echoing a tweet from US President Donald Trump that said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to engage North Korea in talks.
I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
Fallon, similarly, “should contemplate his words and behavior, rather than persistently ignoring the cause of the evil and dancing to the tune of the U.S.,” the North Korean spokesman said.
In August, Pyongyang threatened Britain with a “miserable end” for taking part in annual military drills in South Korea.
On behalf of the government, a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman told Business Insider: “We are committed to a diplomatic resolution and to upholding peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
“We urge the DPRK to return to credible and authentic talks on its nuclear programme.”