No capitulation to US nuclear blackmail: N Korea
North Korea has stressed that it would not give in to US nuclear “blackmail” after pressure mounted on Pyongyang following its latest nuclear test.
“Gone are the days never to return when the US could make a unilateral nuclear blackmail against the DPRK (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea),” the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a Saturday commentary.
Washington “is exasperated by the strong military steps being taken by the DPRK in a phased way,” added the commentary, which was also carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency.
The criticism came one day after North Korea conducted its fifth and reportedly biggest nuclear test and said it had mastered the ability to fit a miniaturized warhead on a rocket.
The first indications of the test came when South Korea’s meteorological agency detected a 5.3-magnitude “artificial earthquake” near the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear site.
The development drew a fresh wave of global condemnation.
US President Barack Obama said that he had agreed with South Korea and Japan to work with the United Nations Security Council and other powers “to vigorously implement existing measures” against North Korea and to take “additional significant steps, including new sanctions.”
North Korea has been the target of toughest-ever sanctions since it conducted its fourth nuclear test in January this year.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye also said the nuclear test proved North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s “maniacal recklessness” in ignoring calls to abandon his pursuit of nuclear weapons.
In response, the Rodong Sinmun commentary accused Park of serving the US and “groundlessly taking issue with the DPRK over its just measures for bolstering nuclear deterrence for self-defense.”
During a closed-door meeting on Friday, the UN Security Council denounced North Korea’s nuclear test and agreed to start work on a new bans targeting the Asian country.
“The members of the Security Council will begin to work immediately on appropriate measures under article 41 in a Security Council resolution,” said New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, who holds the council’s rotating presidency.
North Korea has pledged to develop a nuclear arsenal in a bid to protect itself from the US military, which occasionally deploys nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons in the region.
Washington also holds joint military maneuvers with Seoul, which Pyongyang views as preparations for war and a direct threat against its security.