N.Korea Ramps Up Nuclear Threat Against U.S.

North Korea on Friday added a fresh nuclear threat to a propaganda campaign apparently aimed at diverting attention from internecine power struggles and consolidating leader Kim Jong-un's rule.

A spokesman for the North's Foreign Ministry in a statement said the U.S.' hostility to the North has reached an "extremely reckless level" where it "incites an enormously hostile act insulting the dignity" of the ruling Kim family. The spokesman warned circumstances "compel us to review the nuclear issue in a wholesale way."

The "hostile act" was an alleged foreign plot to blow up statues of regime founder Kim Il-sung in an unidentified city bordering China. The regime last Thursday paraded a defector named Jon Yong-chol before the state media, who "confessed" to being incited to carry out the fiendish plot by the U.S. and South Korean intelligence forces as well as a group of North Korean defectors in the South.

This incident "completely invalidates the basic clauses in the Oct. 12, 2000 North Korea-U.S. joint communique and the Sept. 19, 2005 joint statement, which say that the U.S. has no hostile intent against us," the statement said.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 23, 2012 12:05 KST