North Korea Warns South of Nuclear 'Fire Shower'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2009 10:20 PM CDT
In this undated photo released by Korean Central News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, inspects an infantry division.   (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)
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(Newser) – North Korea condemned a US pledge to provide nuclear defense of South Korea, saying the move boosts its justification to hold onto atomic bombs and invites a potential "fire shower of nuclear retaliation." The salvo in Pyongyang's main newspaper is the North's latest reaction to last week's summit between President Obama and South Korea's Lee Myung-bak. The allies issued a joint statement committing the US to defend the South with nuclear weapons.

On the anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, the North's newspaper claimed that the "nuclear umbrella" commitment made it more likely for the US to mount a nuclear attack on the North, and only "provides us with a stronger justification to have nuclear deterrent." It also amounts to "asking for the calamitous situation of having a fire shower of nuclear retaliation all over South Korea" in case of a conflict, the paper said. "It is as clear as daylight that South Korea cannot survive under that nuclear umbrella."