It's rare that our friends from North Korea actually pick up the phone and give the ol' U.S. a call. But according to reports in their local media that's exactly what they did. Oh, and did we mention it was to warn the U.S. they would meet a "miserable destruction"?
According to a news report from the North Korean Central News Agency, as translated by Reuters and the Associated Press, Pak Rim-su, the "chief delegate of the North Korean military mission to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom," called the head of the U.S. forces stationed in South Korea, Gen. James Thurman, to warn him against participating in upcoming scheduled military drills with South Korea.
Starting on March 1, 10,000 U.S. troops are participating in land, sea and air maneuvering drills with 200,000 South Korean troops. Starting on March 11, 3,500 U.S. troops will participate in separate war simulation drills with South Korean troops.
North Korea isn't excited about the idea. "If your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises...at this dangerous time, from that moment your fate will be hung by a thread with every hour," Pak reportedly told Thurman, according to the North Koreans. "You had better bear in mind that those igniting a war are destined to meet a miserable destruction." Sounds like it was a pleasant little chat. So cheery and welcoming, those North Koreans.
Usually when North Korea wants to say something like this they just release a news report through the KCNA with whatever quotes they want to push, so if the phone call actually occurred it might be a big deal. But the U.S. has yet to confirm the conversation ever happened. There's a good chance North Korea is blowing smoke through a phone with no one on the other end.
Though, it should be noted, a "miserable destruction" is at least slightly better than the "final destruction" North Korea threatened on South Korea during a U.N. nuclear debate earlier this week. North Korea really needs to expand its threat repertoire. All joking aside, this is, of course, still fresh off the successful nuclear test the country conducted. They tried to say it was a negotiating tactic with the U.S., but that was kind of dumb, and then all of a sudden their nuclear site was getting busy again.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.