NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Secretary of State John Kerry issued a stark warning Friday to North Korea’s young leader.
Kerry said it would be a “huge mistake” for his country to test a medium range missile, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
The increasing threats from North Korea to fire a nuclear warhead at a pro-western target resulted in an in-your-face warning to Dictator Kim Jong Un.
“If Kim Jong-Un decides to launch a missile, whether it’s across the Sea of Japan or some other direction, he will be choosing to willfully ignore the entire international community. And it will be a provocation and unwanted act,” Kerry said.
Kerry made the remarks in neighboring South Korea at the start of four days of talks in East Asia, where there is intense concern about the North’s erratic leader. Kerry said even testing a medium range missile would be a huge mistake.
“It will further isolate his country and further isolate his people, who are, frankly, desperate for food and not missile launches. It takes everybody to a bad place,” Kerry said.
North Korea issued its own warning, saying Japan will be its first target if war breaks out. However, there was some disagreement about whether North Korea has the ability to deploy a nuclear warhead. A new report from the Defense Intelligence Agency says yes; the White House says no.
“It is our assessment that North Korea has not demonstrated the capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
But while South Korean protestors urged Kerry to talk to North Korea there was mixed reaction back in the United States.
Sung Ban of Leonia, N.J., said that he is praying “that nothing stupid happens, you know, that somebody up in the North is not that dumb to start a war.”
“Yes, I’m worried because my family lives there,” added Vicky Park of New York City.
There is some concern that Kerry’s visit to the area could spur the North Koreans to attempt a nuclear test. Another potential test day is April 15, the 101st birthday of the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung.
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