Tensions are heating up on the Korean peninsula as South Korea continues to stage military drills near the border.The response on Thursday from North Korea's chief of defense, Kim Yong Chun, was blunt:
"To counter the enemy's intentional drive to push the situation to the brink of war, our revolutionary forces are making preparations to begin a holy war at any moment necessary based on nuclear deterrent," Kim said, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
The remarks come as the North prepares to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the day its leader, Kim Jong Il, took power.
The video makes an attempt at balance, trying to claim that the South Koreans were being provocative by carrying on military training in disputed waters prior to North Korean shelling of a South Korean island that killed four people. That would ignore the fact that a North Korean mine or torpedo sank a South Korean cruiser, killing 46 sailors on board in the worst incident since the truce was signed in 1953.
The military exercises are the most the South Korean government can do short of taking actual retaliatory action against North Korea for the North's repeated attacks. The South Korean government is under tremendous pressure to show that it is taking necessary actions to protect its citizens from the North Korean threats.
The North's latest pronouncements, threatening a holy nuclear war, only adds to the pressure and possibility that the North is trying to force still more concessions at talks and is using the nuclear angle to its utmost advantage.