North Korea vows harsh re­tal­i­a­tion against new UN sanc­tions

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

North Korea vowed Mon­day to bol­ster its nu­clear arse­nal and gain re­venge of a “thou­sand-fold’’ against the United States in re­sponse to tough UN sanc­tions im­posed fol­low­ing its re­cent in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests.

The warn­ing came two days af­ter the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved new sanc­tions to pun­ish North Korea, in­clud­ing a ban on coal and other ex­ports worth over $1 bil­lion. The U.S. am­bas­sador to the UN, Nikki Ha­ley, called the U.S.-drafted res­o­lu­tion “the sin­gle largest eco­nomic sanc­tions pack­age ever lev­elled against’’ North Korea.

In a state­ment car­ried by the North’s state-run Korean Cen­tral News Agency, North Korea’s gov­ern­ment said the sanc­tions were a “vi­o­lent in­fringe­ment of its sovereignty’’ that was caused by a “heinous U.S. plot to iso­late and sti­fle’’ the coun­try.

“We will make the U.S. pay by a thou­sand-fold for all the heinous crimes it com­mits against the state and peo­ple of this coun­try,’’ the state­ment said.

The North said it would take an un­spec­i­fied “res­o­lute ac­tion of jus­tice’’ and would never place its nu­clear pro­gram on the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble or “flinch an inch’’ from its push to strengthen its nu­clear de­ter­rence as long as U.S. hos­til­ity against North Korea per­sists.

North Korean For­eign Min­is­ter Ri Yong-ho made sim­i­lar com­ments dur­ing an an­nual re­gional se­cu­rity con­fer­ence in Manila on Mon­day.

South Korea’s gov­ern­ment said the North would face stronger sanc­tions if it doesn’t stop its nu­clear and mis­sile provo­ca­tion.

Lim Eul Chul, a North Korea ex­pert at South Korea’s Kyung­nam Univer­sity, said the com­ments by the North demon­strate how an­gry it is over the UN sanc­tions, but that the coun­try is not likely to launch a pre-emp­tive strike against the United States. He said the North could still carry out fur­ther mis­sile tests or a sixth atomic bomb test in the com­ing months un­der its broader weapons devel­op­ment timetable.

North Korea test-launched two ICBMs last month as part of its ef­forts to pos­sess a lon­grange mis­sile ca­pa­ble of strik­ing any­where in the main­land U.S. Both mis­siles were fired at highly lofted an­gles, and an­a­lysts say the weapons could reach parts of the United States such as Alaska, Los An­ge­les or Chicago if fired at a nor­mal, flat­tened tra­jec­tory.

The cen­ter­piece of the UN sanc­tions is a ban on North Korean ex­ports of coal, iron, lead and seafood prod­ucts — and a ban on all coun­tries im­port­ing those prod­ucts, es­ti­mated to be worth over $1 bil­lion a year in hard cur­rency. The res­o­lu­tion also bans coun­tries from giv­ing any ad­di­tional per­mits to North Korean labour­ers, an­other source of for­eign cur­rency for the North, and pro­hibits all new joint ven­tures with North Korean com­pa­nies.

AP PHOTO

South Korean army sol­diers pa­trol along the barbed-wire fence in South Korea’s Paju, near the bor­der with North Korea, Mon­day. North Korea vowed Mon­day to bol­ster its nu­clear arse­nal and launch “thou­sand-fold” re­venge against the United States in re­sponse to tough UN sanc­tions im­posed af­ter its re­cent in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile launches.

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