North Korea condemns new sanctions as ‘act of war’
North Korea says the latest round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations (UN) against Pyongyang constitutes an “act of war” against the country.
The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear weapons development program. The new sanctions restrict fuel exports to the country and demand the repatriation of North Koreans working aboard, mostly in China and Russia.
The North’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that the sanctions were tantamount to a complete economic blockade, threatening that those who supported the measure would be held “completely responsible.”
“Those countries that raised their hands in favor of this ‘sanctions resolution’ shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the ‘resolution’ and we will make sure, for ‘ever and ever,’ that they pay a heavy price for what they have done,” it said.
China, which is North Korea’s main ally and a permanent member of the Security Council, voted in favor of the sanctions resolution. Beijing has, however, called for restraint from both North Korea and the countries involved in a dispute with Pyongyang over its weapons program, mainly the United States.
In its statement, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the US was to blame for the sanctions.
“We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the US and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region and categorically reject the ‘resolution,’” the ministry said, referring to the sanctions resolution.
Pyongyang has repeatedly defended its weapons program as being defensive in nature and a deterrent against potential hostility by foreign powers.
“We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the US nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the US,” the ministry said.
North Korea on November 29 said it had successfully tested a new missile that put the US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons. That same month, Pyongyang also demanded a halt to what it called “brutal” sanctions, saying a round imposed after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3 constituted genocide.