North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacted angrily to comments made by U.S. President Barack Obama, which suggested the reclusive regime was likely to collapse, and said that the North will not sit idly "with rabid dogs barking" about toppling its socialist system, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Kim reportedly made the comments while overseeing the joint naval and air force drill, simulating an attack on a U.S. carrier strike group off South Korea, KCNA, the North's state-run news agency, reported.
Although details of the war games, including the venue, were not made public, the drills are believed to have taken place on Friday. Kim's reported comments follow remarks made by Obama during an interview with YouTube Jan. 22, where he said that the North Korea might eventually collapse. He had said that the country was the “most isolated, the most sanctioned, the most cut-off nation on Earth," AFP reported.
KCNA described Kim's comments, according to AFP: “He solemnly declared that we have no willingness to sit any longer with the rabid dogs openly barking that they will bring down by the method of bringing about ‘changes’ the socialist system, the cradle which our people consider dearer than their own lives.”
The KCNA report also cited Kim as saying that the North can fight back "any war including a war by conventional armed forces and a nuclear war," AFP reported.
Relations between the two countries are fractious, particularly after after the cyberattack against Sony Pictures, which the U.S. says North Korea was responsible for. Pyongyang denied the allegations, and warned Washington not to make provocative comments. North Korea also claimed that the U.S. was behind the network outages that hit the country following the Sony hack, a claim the U.S. has denied.
"We will keep on ratcheting the pressure, but part of what's happening is ... the internet over time is going to be penetrating this country," Obama said in the interview with YouTube, according to AFP, adding: "Over time you will see a regime like this collapse."
In December, last year, North Korea called Obama the “chief culprit” behind the release of “The Interview,” which dealt with a fictional plot to assassinate Kim. The country’s National Defense Commission also called Obama a “monkey inhabiting a tropical forest,” following which U.S. issued more sanctions against the North.