In recent weeks, North Korea and the U.S. have continued escalating tensions between the two nations. Both countries have conducted missile tests in order to get the other country to behave differently, leaving some convinced that a conflict between the two, which would lead to a catastrophic loss of life, is all-but-inevitable.
Lost in the shuffle of the international missile-measuring contest was the Trump administration’s decision to respond to the death of American tourist Otto Warmbier to unilaterally ban all Americans from entering North Korea.
North Korea finally responded to the travel ban, calling it “sordid.” The KCNA, the North’s state-run news agency, citing an unidentified spokesman, said that foreigners had no reason to fear traveling in the north and would not be threatened. “Our doors are always open for all Americans who visit our country out of good will and wish to see our reality,” the spokesman said.
The report did not mention Warmbier specifically, or any of the other Western prisoners North Korea is holding but did say “the North had delivered “just punishment” to some U.S. citizens who had carried out acts against the regime.” The spokesman said it was North Korea’s “right as a sovereign state” to prosecute criminals and that “there is no country in the world that would let foreigners who commit this sort of crime” go unnoticed.
Meanwhile, Fox News is reporting that North Korea might be as close as six months away from developing a hydrogen bomb, which could kill millions if used in a missile strike against a major city.