North Korea has strongly denounced the US for labeling it a hub for money laundering, saying the “desperate” move only shows the inefficiency of sanctions against Pyongyang.
Last week, the US Treasury Department accused Pyongyang of using state-owned corporations and front companies to pay for its nuclear arms and ballistic missile program.
A North Korean official denounced the designation as “another illegal act of infringing upon the sovereignty and vital rights” of the country.
The US move would prevent both direct and indirect North Korean financial activities within the American banking network.
North Korea said the US “is loudly calling on the neighboring countries to increase pressure” upon Pyongyang, dismissing it as “a nonsensical talk.”
It said Pyongyang had a “well-regulated” system to combat money laundering and was “not frightened in the least” by the latest label.
“The US pursues the sinister aim of making up the flaw of the UN ‘resolution on sanctions’ with its independent and additional sanctions in blatant violation of the UN Charter and international law.”
Washington “is sadly mistaken if it calculates it can attain its sinister political goal through the action,” read a statement, carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
On Wednesday, North Korea said it has begun a 200-day battle to boost the country’s sanctions-hit economy as part of a five-year economic plan.
According to the plan, Pyongyang will simultaneously expand its nuclear weapons capability “in quality and quantity” and push forward economic development.
The country recently came under the most crippling sanctions by the UN and the West over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
North Korea accuses the US of plotting with its regional allies to topple the government in Pyongyang. The country describes its nuclear capabilities as a deterrent against hostile US policies.