N.Korea Threatens Seoul Nuclear Summit

North Korea has threatened dire consequences if world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul next week issue any statement on Pyongyang's nuclear program. The official KCNA news agency on Wednesday said it would be "a heinous insult" if the summit issues a "so-called statement" on North Korea.

"Any such kind of provocation would constitute a declaration of war against us," it added.

North Korean state radio was even more belligerent, saying, "If anybody protects and takes sides even a little with the South Korean puppet clique which is bent on seeking confrontation" with the North, they would find themselves in range of “indiscriminate gunfire aimed at pulverizing the traitors."

KCNA said Lee Myung-bak government is trying to "turn the international event into a site of confrontation with [the North], taking advantage of its status as the host. To repeat, the so-called 'North Korean nuclear issue' does not exist. There is no justification to put it on the table." State radio said, "It is insulting and shameful for countries that value justice and peace to participate in the Seoul summit."

North Korea's state media have carried articles and commentaries denouncing the nuclear summit almost every day since the beginning of the month, but this was the first time they have threatened participating countries with war.

A South Korean government official said. "The North was disappointed that China and Russia are taking part, so it seems the media are trying to increase the blackmail." But he added Seoul "is not going to respond to every statement from them."

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 22, 2012 09:31 KST