AFP. 9 December 2001. US targeting North Korea for second war on
terrorism: state media.

SEOUL -- North Korea on Sunday accused the United States of marking out
the Stalinist state as the target for a second US war against  terrorism
and said its people should be ready to "lay down their lives" for their

Rodong Sinmun, the North's ruling communist party newspaper, also
demanded Washington stop pressing Pyongyang to accept an outside
inspection of its missile and nuclear development programs.

"The US designation of the DPRK (North Korea) as the target of the
post-Afghanistan war operation compels the Korean people to be in full
combat preparedness to lay down their lives for the country," it said.

The daily accused the United States of refusing to drop the North from a
list of states sponsoring terrorism to "provoke a war" on the Korean

"The DPRK is not Afghanistan. The DPRK is ready for defense and attack,"
it warned.

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the
North's propaganda machine has stepped up anti-US rethoric, reflecting
its harder stance against Washington.

US President George W. Bush proposed new talks with the North in June to
include cuts in its 1.2-million-strong armed forces.

On November 26, Bush called on North Korea to permit foreign inspectors
to verify that it is not producing weapons of mass destruction, and
warned Pyongyang to halt foreign missile sales.

But North Korea has rejected Washington's calls for dialogue and

In a commentary on Saturday, the North's second official daily, Minju
Joson, accused Washington of staging a "shameless smear campaign
designed to invent a pretext for a war of aggression" against the North.

"Choice is not a monopoly of the United States. The DPRK has the right
to choose and is strong enough to exercise its right to the full," Minju

The Korean peninsula is the world's last Cold War frontier with an
uneasy truce in place since the Korean War of 1950-53.

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Barry Stoller

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