After the test, Pyongyang announced that despite tightened United Nations sanctions that theoretically went into force last month, its latest nuclear test bolstered its defenses against U.S. "hostility." In a lengthy broadcast on the communist dictatorship's Korean Central News Agency, a government spokesman claimed that countries that abandoned nuclear weapons in response to U.S. pressure have suffered "tragic consequences" and that North Korea's nuclear program is "farsighted."
Libya is the only nation known to have quit an ongoing nuclear program in the past 20 years. Moammar Gadhafi dropped out of the nuclear weapons club after Saddam Hussein was dragged from a spider hole in 2003. A former intelligence official tells me that Pyongyang's reference to "countries" -- plural -- is likely "hyperbolic propaganda, but there is no doubt Gadhafi is dead."
The latest rant from the hermit kingdom is a diatribe against the annual monthlong series of U.S.-South Korean air, naval and ground exercises set to begin next week. On Thursday, a North Korean "diplomat" at the United Nations threatened his South Korean counterpart with "final destruction" if the U.N. tries to impose further sanctions. In a surreal twist on bizarre behavior, the confrontation apparently took place during a session of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.
All this bluster coming from a country where starvation is an existential reality and where there are fewer privately owned automobiles than there are in the city of Milwaukee would be laughable but for the relationship the North Koreans have with the ayatollahs in Tehran, Iran -- and the feeble response from the Obama administration.
U.S. Ambassador Laura Kennedy proclaimed that she was "profoundly disturbed" by the "final destruction" threat and declared the language to be "incredibly inconsistent with the goals and objectives" of the U.N. Take that, you no good Commies!
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.