North Korea caused a minor éclat at a UN Conference on disarmament on Tuesday by threatening South Korea with "final destruction," Reuters reported.
North Korean diplomat Jon Yong-ryong told the meeting, "As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction."
While the rhetoric is nothing new, the choice of platform at a conference dedicated to maintaining peace was unusual and drew consternation from member states.
Jon claimed the North's recent nuclear test "is the primary countermeasure taken by [North Korea] in which it exercised its maximum self-restraint" and threatened to take a tough response against "foreign invaders."
He also reiterated a threat to take "second and third stronger steps in succession" should the U.S. continue what the North claims are "hostile" steps to "complicate the situation." He did not say what those steps might be.
British Ambassador Joanne Adamson said such language was "completely inappropriate" at the UN, while U.S. Ambassador Laura Kennedy said she found the threat profoundly disturbing and "offensive."