Having repeatedly threatened the annihilation of its neightbor to the south, and most recently warning of a "super-mighty preemptive strike" against the US, one day after it emerged that Pyongyang appeared to have resumed activity at its Punggye-ri Nuclear test site, North Korea asked China not to step up anti-North sanctions, warning of "catastrophic consequences" in their bilateral relations.
Pyongyang issued the warning through commentary written by a person named Jong Phil on its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which was released Saturday.
As South Korea's Yonhap news agency writes, it's rare for Pyongyang's media to level criticism at Beijing, though the KCNA didn't directly mention China in the commentary titled "Are you good at dancing to the tune of others" and dated Friday. The commentary instead called the nation at issue "a country around the DPRK," using North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"Not a single word about the U.S. act of pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a war after introducing hugest-ever strategic assets into the waters off the Korean peninsula is made but such rhetoric as 'necessary step' and 'reaction at decisive level' is openly heard from a country around the DPRK to intimidate it over its measures for self-defense," the commentary's introduction in English read.
"Particularly, the country is talking rubbish that the DPRK has to reconsider the importance of relations with it and that it can help preserve security of the DPRK and offer necessary support and aid for its economic prosperity, claiming the latter will not be able to survive the strict 'economic sanctions' by someone."
Then, the KCNA commentary warned that the neighbor country will certainly face a catastrophe in their bilateral relationship, as long as it continues to apply economic sanctions together with the United States.
"If the country keeps applying economic sanctions on the DPRK while dancing to the tune of someone after misjudging the will of the DPRK, it may be applauded by the enemies of the DPRK, but it should get itself ready to face the catastrophic consequences in the relations with the DPRK," it said.
North Korea watchers here say the commentary appears to be Pyongyang's response after Chinese experts and media have recently called for escalating sanctions against the North, including the suspension of oil exports, in case of its sixth nuclear test.
An angry and provocative op-ed slamming what until recently was considered North Korea's shadow advocate in the region, suggests a level of growing desperation at the top echelons of NK's government, and hints that Kim Jong-Un is even more irrational and unpredictable than "normal."