"As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger,” North Korean diplomat Jon Yong-Ryong told the meeting. “South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction.”
It is unclear to what “erratic behavior” Jon was referring, but if the “tiger” in question refers to South Korea, it's a tiger that has a democratic government, the 13th largest economy in the world and an army with the personnel strength of 3.5 million, according to its Ministry of National Defense.
North Korea, by contrast, has the 103rd largest economy and a population that has been living in a state of malnutrition since 1995, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Any war between the two countries would likely completely destroy the North and partially destroy the South, resulting in economic and humanitarian devastation and years of rebuilding.
Jon continued, saying that North Korea’s “resolute step for self-defense” last week will be “strong counter-actions to a foreign aggressor.”
"If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward the DPRK [North Korea] to the last, rendering the situation complicated, [North Korea] will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession,” Jon said.
U.S. Ambassador Laura Kennedy told reporters she thought Jon’s statement was “profoundly disturbing.”
“I also was particularly struck by the phrase 'heralding the destruction of the Republic of Korea' and find that language incredibly inconsistent with the goals and objectives that this body is intended to pursue,” she said, referring to the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.
Joanne Adamson, head of the UK delegation in Geneva, called the DPRK’s comments “completely inappropriate.”
"It cannot be allowed that we have expressions, which refer to the possible destruction of U.N. member states," she told reporters.
North Korea’s closest and largest ally, China, condemned last week’s nuclear test but had no immediate reaction to Tuesday’s statements. North Korea also told China there would be at least one more nuclear test this year.