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North Korea Threatens Nuclear 'Sacred War' If Attacked

Kim Jong Il is expected to be succeeded by his son

Kim Jong Il is expected to be succeeded by his son

North Korea's ambassador to Cuba said his country would answer any attack on it with a nuclear "sacred war."

Kwon Sung-chol was quoted as making the remark on August 27 in Cuba. His remarks came the same day another North Korean official said Pyongyang is open to returning to nuclear disarmament talks.

Washington and Seoul have said Pyongyang must abandon its nuclear weapons development, but have not threatened to attack the poor and isolated North.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il apparently headed home on August 28 after a secretive and surprise trip to China that reportedly included a meeting with top Chinese officials.

Many North Korea analysts predict Kim's son, Kim Jong Un, will be appointed to a key party position at a ruling Workers' Party meeting early next month -- the first such gathering in decades.

compiled from agency reports