U.S. asks North Korea to choose peaceful path

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki made a statement on December 20 in response to a recent threat from North Korea to South Korea and asked that North Korea choose the peaceful path.

In celebration of the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea, parties in South Korea burned North Korean paraphernalia and flags. In response to the acts, which are normal in South Korea during any North Korean celebration, North Korea threatened to strike South Korea, CNN reports.

The threat was sent via fax to South Korean authorities, stating that it would strike the nation without warning if the protests persisted. South Korea's Ministry of National Defense responded by telling North Korea it would retaliate to any attack, according to CNN.

While the U.S. does not condone these threats, Psaki said the U.S. stance is one of peace for the region. The U.S. asked that North Korea abide by international laws and exhibit peace.

"As a general matter, North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which only further isolates North Korea and undermines international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia," Psaki said. "We continue to urge North Korean leadership to heed President Obama's call to choose the path of peace and come into compliance with international obligations."