North Korea sent a message of warning to the UN Security Council, state media said Wednesday, as South Korea stepped up its campaign to censure the communist country over the sinking of a warship.
The message was sent on Tuesday by Sin Son-Ho, the North's envoy to the United Nations, to Security Council chairman Claude Heller, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
A multinational investigation team said last month there was overwhelming evidence that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo to break a South Korean warship in two in March.
South Korea formally asked the Security Council last week to respond to the sinking, which left 46 sailors dead.
However, Pyongyang has denied it was responsible for the incident, which has sent tensions on the Korean peninsula soaring, and Sin in his letter questioned the authenticity of the international probe.
"No one would dare imagine how serious its consequences would be with regard to the peace and security" on the peninsula if the council put the findings of the probe on the agenda for debate without verification by the North, he said.
The South has announced a series of reprisals, including cutting off trade with the cash-strapped North, in the wake of the deadliest peace-time tragedy for the South since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War.
Seoul can expect support from the US, Britain and France, but China and Russia, the other two veto-wielding permanent council members, have not publicly stated their positions.
The South's Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-Woo visited the United States last week as part of Seoul's diplomatic drive to have Pyongyang punished.
He will return home Wednesday after a trip to China, which so far has not publicly condemned North Korea and appealed only for restraint by all parties.