PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA–Increasingly defiant toward international pressure since his nation's first nuclear test in early October, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il condemned this morning's sunrise, calling it "another hostile, deliberately timed act by the world community" and "a clear and blatant declaration of war."
According to North Korean military sources, the sunrise, sighted at 6:17 a.m. by patrolling officers, was not fully confirmed until an hour later, at which time Kim assessed the threat himself, and immediately released a harshly worded warning to the U.S. and the United Nations Security Council.
"The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this act of aggression on our eastern border," read a statement printed in the state-run Korean Central News Agency. "If another act of this nature occurs at any time in the next 24 hours, we will be left with no choice but to retaliate with the full might and power of our armed forces."
In addition to denouncing the "imperialist invasive assault," Kim also supplied the U.N. with an extensive list of "unacceptable" international actions. According to Kim's list, North Korea will no longer tolerate the encroachment of Japanese waters onto its western shore, will view the accumulation of cumulus clouds in restricted airspace as acts of intimidation, and will not hesitate to respond militarily to any "violent and unprovoked bursts of wind."
Kim outlined further "extreme transgressions" that would be worthy of more immediate and serious military retaliation.
"Economic sanctions on North Korean imports and exports, the reintroduction of cuff links as a fashion accessory, a sudden drop in lower-middle-class spending habits, sporadic changes in the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies, the announcement of yet another new sports drink, a daily rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher than 3.5 points, shorter hemlines, inspections of North Korean cargo in an attempt to intercept weapons or weapons parts, or the release of a new U2 album—any of these actions will be interpreted as an act of war, and force us to take drastic measures to protect our sovereignty," said Kim in a written statement, which also warned that the world's third-largest standing army is prepared to deliver a "merciless blow at a moment's notice" if the leaves begin to turn colors and fall from the trees of North Korea. "Though we desire peace, we have seen the signs of war on the horizon, and we are not afraid to act."
Despite claims from China that Kim's statements are "nothing more than hollow threats," the U.S. remains worried that the communist republic may test a second nuclear weapon in response to Sony's new line of 62-inch flat-screen television sets.
"The United States wants nothing more than to engage the North Koreans in diplomatic talks, but we will not simply cave in to these bullying tactics," said Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice, who called the Asian nation's response to Wednesday's events "politically questionable." "That said, we are carefully reviewing their demands, and believe we can find some common ground on concerns over NBC's Thursday-night lineup."
Kim Jong-Il decried Rice's remarks, the side to which her hair was parted, and the fact that she was wearing blue, calling each an "indisputable and highly charged admission of war that North Korea will not be cowed by."