North Korea threatened Israel with “merciless, thousand-fold punishment” after Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hurt the “dignity of the supreme leadership” of North Korea, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Saturday. The comment was in reaction to Liberman’s recent remarks on how Israel is affected by North Korean tension with the United States.
In an interview with the Walla news site on April 25, Liberman stated that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is a madman and that together with the leaders of Iran and Syria was part of an “insane and radical” gang that was bent on undermining international stability.
Liberman said Pyongyang “seems to have crossed the red line with its recent nuclear tests,” adding that its nuclear weapons program posed more of a threat to world order than Iran or any terrorist group.
“We’re just ahead of a new era of accurate missile and unconventional weapons in the hands of irrational people,” Liberman said.
“The reckless remarks of the Israeli defense minister are sordid and wicked behavior and a grave challenge to [North Korea],” the North Korean statement read.
The statement also claimed that Israel is the only illegal possessor of nukes in the Middle East under the patronage of the U.S. However, Israel vociferated about the nuclear deterrence of North Korea, slandering it, whenever an opportunity presented itself.
“This is the cynical ploy to escape the world denunciation and curse as disturber of peace in the Middle East, occupier of the Arab territories and culprit of crimes against humanity,” the statement added.
The North Korean statement threatened Israel and anyone who “dares hurt the dignity of its supreme leadership” with “merciless, thousand-fold punishment.”
The statement ended with a warning to Israel to “think twice about the consequences to be entailed by its smear campaign against [North Korea] to cover up the crimes of occupying Arab territories and disturbing the peace process in the Middle East.”
Last Tuesday, a senior IDF officer told reporters at a special briefing that ongoing tension between North Korea and the U.S. could impact Israel’s security.