WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The United States said yesterday it had no interest in getting into a “war of words” with North Korea, following a North Korean threat to launch a “sacred war” against the United States and its ally, South Korea.
“We are not interested in a war of words with North Korea. What we need from North Korea is fewer provocative words and more constructive action,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said when asked to respond to the North Korean comment.
North Korea said earlier it would begin a “sacred war” against the United States and South Korea at “any time necessary,” based on its nuclear deterrent, in response to “reckless” military exercises by the allies.
The North’s powerful National Defense Commission again denied in a statement the country was behind the sinking of a South Korean warship and said it could be forced to retaliate against the two countries, which begin large-scale military drills tomorrow.
“The army and people of the DPRK will start a retaliatory sacred war of their own style based on nuclear deterrent any time necessary in order to counter the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war,” the commission said.
The statement was part of a verbal onslaught by the North after a South Korea-led team of investigators concluded in May that a North Korean submarine had torpedoed a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors.