State Dept seeks new ally vs. North Korea: PETA
North Korea — you have been warned.
The State Department on Monday held out the possibility that the isolated Stalinist state’s belligerent rumblings could earn it a powerful new foe on the world stage: animal rights activist group PETA.
Asked at a news briefing about North Korea’s latest move, which saw it fire a barrage of artillery shells into the ocean near South Korea, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was blunt:
“Well, I’m sure it resulted in a lot of dead fish. And we certainly hope that PETA will protest,” he said.
PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is no slouch when it comes to defending animal rights, having taken on everything from fur-wearing Hollywood celebrities and circus elephant acts to the meat and dairy industry.
It was unclear, however, if the group would rally behind Korean fish as the State Department suggested.
Crowley — perhaps aware that he risked sounding flip with the PETA comment — later reiterated longstanding U.S. concern over North Korea’s actions, which included the March sinking of a South Korean warship that killed 46 South Korean sailors.
“Certainly the firing of a very large number of rounds in the region is the last thing that we want to see and is certainly not the best way to reduce tensions,” Crowley said. “It’s unclear to us exactly what North Korea feels it is trying to achieve through this ongoing chest-thumping that it has engaged in. All we can say is that we will continue to work effectively and closely with South Korea, other countries in the region, and there will be no reward for North Korea for these provocations.”
Photo Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon (Actors dressed as angel and devil feed fish in Seoul aquarium in 2002 file photo).