WASHINGTON — After a North Korean diplomat threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told reporters that the increasingly provocative nation is “just begging for some democracy.”
Specifically, North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong told the meeting, “As the saying goes, a newborn puppy knows no fear of a tiger.” Panetta was admittedly confused, saying, “I don’t believe anyone outside of North Korea is familiar with that expression, But if I had to take a swing at it, I’d say Kim Jong-un is implying that we should launch a full-scale invasion of his country, as soon as possible.”
Given the series of blunders involved in the Iraq War, members of the U.N. are typically wary of any plans to depose authoritarian regimes in foreign countries and install democracies in their place. However, it has become difficult to interpret North Korea’s aggressive behavior as anything other than an overt desire to be invaded by a Western superpower.
“We went into Iraq just because we thought they might have weapons of mass destruction,” said Panetta. “Meanwhile, North Korea’s over here, flaunting its nuclear weaponry with no shame or subtlety, just asking us to whip out our democracy and spread some freedom all over their country. And it’s getting harder and harder to say ‘No.'”
The United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the UN Joanne Adamson claimed that the U.N. has never seen “such sauciness” at a conference. When asked whether North Korea’s threat could simply be a desperate ploy to extort more international aid, Adamson responded, “I don’t think so. I mean, they could just ask for aid and we’d work something out. But to threaten a nation to its face, in front of all its allies, knowing that they already dislike you and are looking for any excuse to get rid of you – they must want democracy real bad.”