North Korea blames U.S. for tension on peninsula
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korea accused the United States on Wednesday of contributing to an "unpredictable" situation on the divided Korean peninsula and abusing its power in the U.N. Security Council to impose its "hostile policy" against Pyongyang.
North Korea is facing further United Nations sanctions for its underground nuclear test explosion two weeks ago, its biggest and most powerful to date which drew warnings from Washington and international condemnation.
In December it launched a long-range rocket in a move that critics said was designed to test technology for an intercontinental ballistic missile, leading to tighter U.N. sanctions being imposed last month.
"The U.S. is to blame for the situation on the Korean peninsula which is inching close to an unpredictable phase now," So Se Pyong, North Korea's ambassador in Geneva, told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.
A week ago, North Korea's delegation threatened South Korea with "final destruction" during a heated debate at the talks, the main U.N. disarmament negotiating forum.
U.S. ambassador Laura Kennedy did not respond to the verbal assault on Wednesday.
But South Korea's disarmament ambassador Kwon Haeryong took the floor to urge its isolated neighbor to "abandon its nuclear ambitions without delay and embark on the path to peace".
"North Korea's nuclear test is a challenge to the peace and security of the Korean peninsula and northeast Asia and beyond. There should be no mistake that the biggest victim will be none other than North Korea itself," Kwon said. Continued...