A North Korean military army chief pledged to impose the “most miserable and merciless punishment” on the U.S. if it did not stop attempts to “bring down” the DPRK’s ideology and system, the Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), reported on Friday.
Military personnel of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces held an outdoor mass rally on Thursday in response to the passage of the UN Security Council Resolution 2371 on Saturday.
The meeting was held at the Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War “to support the statement of the DPRK government and pledge to achieve the final victory in the confrontation with the U.S.,” according to the newspaper.
Ri Myong Su, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), made a speech vowing to “sternly smash the U.S. imperialist heinous sanctions and scheme of pressure.”
“He declared that our invincible revolutionary armed forces will inflict the most miserable and merciless punishment [upon the U.S.] so that no one can [even] make an outcry or scream,” Ri reportedly said.
Ri said the army would respond if “the U.S. doesn’t stop a reckless attempt to bring down the North’s ideology and social system as well as people and commits a rash act.”
Ri delivered the speech at a rally of what appeared in a video aired by the state-run Korean Central Television (KCTV) to be thousands of North Korean soldiers.
High-profile North Korean military officers, including Director of the KPA General Political Bureau Hwang Pyong So and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Pak Yong Sik, were also in attendance at the rally.
The chief of the General Staff urged the North Korean military to make “all the processes and opportunities to thoroughly defend and protect” leader Kim Jong Un.
“He said that [the military] should ruthlessly crumble the enemy’s unpardonable scheme against God and human beings [천인공노] – which harms the dignity of the supreme leadership – every step,” the Rodong Sinmun reported.
Ri told soldiers that ten million soldiers should rise up to “mercilessly destroy the enemy’s decapitation operation'” even if “ten million formidable enemies attack.”
Ri also said that the army would “wipe out the U.S. imperialist and the puppet group of traitors” on Kim Jong Un’s orders – a threat to South Korea.
Thousands of personnel of the Ministry of People’s Security also held a rally to “express full support for the DPRK government statement” on the same day.
The rally began with the song “Ten Million will Become Bullets and Bombs” and ended with the song “General Kim Jong Un We Will Defend With our Lives,” and was attended by Minister of People’s Security Choe Pu Il.
“The neighboring countries can never escape from the responsibility that coiled up the situation on the Korean peninsula more and jeopardized the region’s peace and security,” Lim Jong Hwan lieutenant general at the Bureau of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces said at the outdoor meeting.
Lim also attacked the DPRK’s neighboring countries for “blindly followed the U.S., becoming its puppets while abandoning the rudimentary justice and courtesy.”
A series of mass rallies have been held in Pyongyang since the U.S.-led UNSC resolution was unanimously adopted on Saturday, with another taking place in Pyongyang at Kim Il Sung Square on Wednesday.
High-ranking officials, including Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok and Ri Su Yong, as well as thousands of locals, reportedly attended.
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Resolution 2371 targets North Korea’s trade in coal, iron, lead, and seafood, potentially reducing the value of the DPRK’s exports by a third if properly implemented. It also limits the numbers of laborers the country is allowed to send abroad.
But the rally also comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula this week, sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim on Tuesday that North Korea would face “fire and fury” if it did not cease threats against the U.S.
Hours later, the North Korean military said it was in the final stages of a plan to attack the U.S. territory of Guam and that Seoul would be turned into a “sea of flames” if the U.S. launched military action against the country.
Trump doubled down on his Tuesday comments on Thursday, telling journalists that his comments might not have been “tough enough.”
On Friday morning U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and the Chief of South Korea’s National Security Office (NSO) Chung Eui-yong spoke over the phone for 40 minutes at 8 am Seoul time, South Korea’s Blue House said.
The two “discussed the recent security situation on the Korean peninsula and surrounding areas caused by the North’s provocations… and the ways to deal with it,” presidential spokesperson Park Soo-hyun said in a written statement.
“The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate closely and transparently concerning the step-by-step actions that will be taken to secure the security of the ROK and the U.S. and the safety of their people.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Rodong Sinmun
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