London, June 7 (ANI): North Korea has threatened regional rival South Korea with retaliatory action after South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak raised the case of Pyongyang's torpedoing of its warship that cost the lives of 46 South Korean sailors and resulted in heightened tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea's official media has dubbed the move as an "in tolerable provocation" on South Korea's part. The already strained relations between the two countries have almost reached breaking point with South Korea having already severed al trade ties with its acrimonious neighbour and banned its shipping into their country.
The North Korean media lashed out at South Korea saying that their military would impose a "stern punishment" on the country unless it withdraws these measures, the BBC reports.
World opinion on how to respond to North Korea's severe reaction is disparate. China is likely to oppose the imposition of further economic penalties on the troubled state as this might completely derail its choking economy.
UN diplomats familiar with consultations in New York said that the UN would issue a presidential statement condemning the North, rather than further economic penalties.
Robert Gates, the US defence secretary promised not to let Pyngyang's incendiary actions go unpunished but maintained that the options to bridle the autocratic state are limited given its extreme international isolation.
"As long as the regime doesn't care what the outside world thinks of it, as long as it doesn't care about the well-being of its people, there's not a lot you can do about it, to be quite frank, unless you're willing at some point to use military force," he told the BBC. (ANI)