In its first official response to the sinking of a South Korean ferry boat, North Korea claims that its enemies are "fabricating the second Cheonan warship sinking case."
Though no government has formally accused North Korea of being involved in the sinking of the ferry, the DPRK defensively referred to the Cheonan -- a South Korean ship torpedoed, some say by the North Koreans, in the Yellow Sea in 2010 -- in its first reference to the ferry that sank on April 16th. (As of this writing, many are confirmed dead and hundreds are missing in the waters near Jindo Island. In the Cheonan sinking -- for which North Korea has always denied responsibility -- 46 died.)
And the North Koreans also made a veiled nuclear threat.
"It is quite natural for the DPRK to take measures for self-defense under the prevailing grave situation including the measure of bolstering the nuclear deterrent to foil the hostile forces' military challenge to it," said the North Korean site.
The comment was made in a news item on North Korea's official English-language website, Naenara, earlier on April 18th.
The item, titled "Open Threat," starts off talking about "provocative" military drills by South Korea and what it calls false accusations about the use of drones by the DPRK. Then it refers to the Cheonan and a threat of retaliation against a "mean plot."
"The U.S. and puppet warmongers should behave with discretion if they do not want to face merciless punishment by the powerful revolutionary Paektusan army," says the website.