24 Dec 2017

New sanctions an 'act of war' - North Korea

8:57 pm on 24 December 2017

North Korea has described the latest UN sanctions imposed on the country as an "act of war".

A photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows launching of the Hwasong-15 missile.

A photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows a Hwasong-15 missile launch in November. Photo: AFP / KCNA VIA KNS

A foreign ministry statement said the measures were tantamount to a total economic blockade, the official KCNA news agency reported.

It added that strengthening North Korea's deterrence was the only way to frustrate the US.

The UN Security Council imposed the new sanctions on Friday in response to Pyongyang's ballistic missile tests.

The US-drafted resolution - unanimously backed by all 15 Security Council members - includes measures to slash North Korea's petrol imports by up to 90 percent.

North Korea is already subject to a raft of sanctions from the US, the UN and the EU.

The statement from North Korea

Characteristically bellicose, it described the latest UN sanctions "as a violent breach of our republic's sovereignty and an act of war that destroys the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and a wide region.

"The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment of the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country.

"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."

This photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attending the Second Plenum of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Photo: AFP / KCNA via KNS

The sanctions

The US said it was seeking a diplomatic solution to the issue and drafted this new set of sanctions:

  • Deliveries of petrol products will be capped at 500,000 barrels a year, and crude oil at four million barrels a year.
  • All North Korean nationals working abroad will have to return home within 24 months under the proposals, restricting a vital source of foreign currency.
  • There will also be a ban on exports of North Korean goods, such as machinery and electrical equipment.

The UN sanctions came in response to Pyongyang's 28 November firing of a ballistic missile.

US President Donald Trump has previously threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it launches a nuclear attack. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has described the US president as "mentally deranged".

The US has been imposing sanctions on North Korea for more than a decade with little success.

- BBC

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