N Korea de­fi­ant over UN sanc­tions as



North Korea showed trade­mark de­fi­ance on Wed­nes­day over new UN sanc­tions im­posed af­ter its sixth and largest nuclear test, vow­ing to re­dou­ble ef­forts to fight off what it said was the threat of a US in­va­sion.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Mon­day’s sanc­tions, unan­i­mously agreed on Mon­day by the 15-mem­ber UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, were just a small step to­wards what is ul­ti­mately needed to rein in Py­ongyang over its nuclear and mis­sile pro­grammes.

The North’s For­eign Min­istry said the res­o­lu­tions were an in­fringe­ment on its le­git­i­mate right to self-de­fence and aimed at “com­pletely suf­fo­cat­ing its state and peo­ple through full-scale eco­nomic block­ade”.

“The DPRK will re­dou­ble the ef­forts to in­crease its strength to safe­guard the coun­try’s sovereignty and right to ex­is­tence and to pre­serve peace and se­cu­rity of the re­gion by es­tab­lish­ing the prac­ti­cal equi­lib­rium with the US,” it said in a state­ment car­ried by the of­fi­cial KCNA news agency.

DPRK stands for the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea, North Korea’s of­fi­cial name.

The state­ment echoed com­ments on Tues­day by the North’s am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions in Geneva, Han Tae Song, who said Py­ongyang was “ready to use a form of ul­ti­mate means”.

“The forth­com­ing mea­sures ... will make the US suf­fer the great­est pain it ever ex­pe­ri­enced in its his­tory,” Han said.

The North’s Rodong Sin­mun news­pa­per also ac­cused South Korea of be­ing Wash­ing­ton’s “pup­pet”, crit­i­cis­ing Seoul’s agree­ment with the United States to amend an ex­ist­ing bi­lat­eral guide­line that will now al­low the South to use un­lim­ited war­head pay­loads on its mis­siles.

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil agreed to boost sanc­tions on North Korea, ban­ning its tex­tile ex­ports and cap­ping fuel sup­plies, and mak­ing it il­le­gal for for­eign firms to form com­mer­cial joint ven­tures with North Korean en­ti­ties.

The UN res­o­lu­tion was trig­gered by North Korea’s test of what it said was a hy­dro­gen bomb.

Da­m­age to moun­tain­ous terrain at the North’s nuclear test site in Pung­gye-ri seen in satel­lite im­agery taken af­ter the lat­est test was more ex­ten­sive than any­thing seen af­ter the five pre­vi­ous tests, the Wash­ing­ton-based 38 North project said.

The North ac­cuses the United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 195053 Korean war, of con­tin­ual plans for in­va­sion.

North Korea has also tested a mis­sile ca­pa­ble of reach­ing the United States, but ex­perts say it is likely to be at least a year be­fore it can field an op­er­a­tional nuclear mis­sile that could threaten the US main­land.


Trump has vowed not to al­low that to hap­pen.

A tougher ini­tial US draft res­o­lu­tion was weak­ened to win the sup­port of China and Rus­sia, both of which hold UN veto power. Sig­nif­i­cantly, it stopped short of im­pos­ing a full em­bargo on oil ex­ports to North Korea, most of which come from China.

“We think it’s just an­other very small step, not a big deal,” Trump told re­porters at the start of a meet­ing with Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak.

“I don’t know if it has any im­pact, but cer­tainly it was nice to get a 15-to-noth­ing vote, but those sanc­tions are noth­ing com­pared to what ul­ti­mately will have to hap­pen.”

US Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions Nikki Ha­ley said the new sanc­tions could even­tu­ally starve North Korea of an ad­di­tional $500 mil­lion or more in an­nual rev­enue. The United States has said that a pre­vi­ous round of sanc­tions agreed in Au­gust was aimed at cut­ting North Korea’s $3 bil­lion in ex­ports by a third.

“Vi­o­lent vi­o­la­tion of our sovereignty”: A de­fi­ant North Korea

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