- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An angry North Korea has responded to the United Nations’ rebuke of its December rocket launch with a vow to boost its nuclear capabilities.

In a memorandum Wednesday, the country’s foreign ministry wrote: “The present situation clearly proves that [North Korea] should counter the U.S. hostile policy with strength, not with words.” The memo went on to define that strength as a buildup of “nuclear deterrence.” Further, the memo promised “physical counteraction” to boost “nuclear deterrence both qualitatively and quantitatively.”

The statement comes a day after the U.N. Security Council — including China — approved a resolution of condemnation against the nation for its Dec. 12 rocket launch that sent a surveillance satellite into orbit.

The strong language of the statement is a first for North Korea’s newest leader, Kim Jong-un, and some see it as a direct challenge to President Obama, who hoped the resolution would carry weight.

Following Tuesday’s vote, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said, “This resolution demonstrates to North Korea that there are unanimous and significant consequences for its flagrant violation of its obligations under previous resolutions.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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