North Korea rails against new sanc­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - RICK GLADSTONE

Stung by oner­ous new sanc­tions from the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, North Korea on Mon­day threat­ened re­tal­i­a­tion “thou­sands of times” and hinted at a pos­si­ble at­tack on the United States.

In its first ma­jor re­sponse to the sanc­tions drafted by the United States and adopted Sat­ur­day, North Korea said it would never re­lin­quish its mis­sile and nu­clear ar­se­nals and called the penal­ties a pan­icky U.S.-led re­sponse to its grow­ing mil­i­tary might.

The North Korean re­sponse, in state­ments from its of­fi­cial news agency, for­eign min­is­ter and UN mis­sion, sug­gested that the coun­try’s leader, Kim Jong Un, was dou­bling down on his goal of de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear-armed mis­sile that could hit the continental United States.

The warn­ings be­gan with a state­ment from North Korea’s of­fi­cial news agency, threat­en­ing to make the United States “pay the price for its crime thou­sands of times,” re­fer­ring to the new sanc­tions.

“There is no big­ger mis­take than the United States be­liev­ing that its land is safe across the ocean,” the news agency said.

North Korea’s for­eign min­is­ter, Ri Yong-ho, echoed the hos­til­ity later in a state­ment re­leased at an an­nual meet­ing of for­eign min­is­ters of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions in Manila that also was at­tended by Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son.

Ri de­scribed North Korea’s mis­siles and nu­clear weapons as de­fen­sive mea­sures against what he called the threat of an­ni­hi­la­tion by the United States.

The coun­try’s UN mis­sion also is­sued a lengthy state­ment de­nounc­ing the sanc­tions, which were meant to dis­suade North Korea from press­ing ahead with its mis­sile and nu­clear weapons pro­grams.

The state­ment called the sanc­tions, which in­clude pro­hi­bi­tions on North Korean ex­ports of coal, iron and seafood, “a fla­grant in­fringe­ment upon its sovereignty.”

The re­sponse came two days af­ter the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ap­proved the mea­sures in a 15-0 vote that ba­si­cally left Kim bereft of any pow­er­ful sup­porter on the is­sue, in­clud­ing China, which helped the United States draft the new penal­ties.

If en­forced, the mea­sures could lop an es­ti­mated $1 bil­lion US an­nu­ally off North Korea’s mea­gre ex­port rev­enue of $3 bil­lion.

The res­o­lu­tion was a di­rect re­sponse to North Korea’s suc­cess­ful tests last month of two in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles that for the first time demon­strated an abil­ity to reach the U.S. main­land.

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