Another week and more tough talk from North Korea is likely.

Last week, the North Korean army warned the U.S. government that its military has been cleared to wage an attack using “smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear” weapons.

The threat from the unnamed army spokesman is one in a series of escalating warnings from North Korea, which has railed for weeks against joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises in South Korea and has expressed anger about tightened sanctions for a February nuclear test.

It’s difficult to know just serious to take the North Koreans. Their constant bashing of the United States has been going on for years. But with its new leader in place and uncertainty about how he and the military interact, there is the possibility that North Korea could attempt a nuclear attack on South Korea, Japan or even the United States.

And the bottom line: Pentagon spokesman George Little offers sensibly, “Our desire is peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The North Koreans have two choices. They can choose the path of peace or they can choose the path of provocation. One is better than the other for everyone involved, including the North Korean military and the North Korean people.”

— The Times and Democrat,

Orangeburg, S.C., April 8

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