North Korea’s foreign ministry on Sunday said the latest UN sanctions are “a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our republic and as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region.” Pyongyang has promised to strengthen its nuclear arsenal in response.
The sanctions, unanimously approved Friday by the United Nations Security Council, are a direct response to North Korea’s November 29th intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test. Pyongyang claims the missile is capable of carrying a nuke to the US mainland.
The US-drafted resolution bans nearly 90% of North Korean oil imports and calls on other countries to repatriate all guest workers within the next two years. The resolution also commits the council to further sanctions should North Korea decide to launch another ICBM.
China, which has consistently called for calm from the US and North Korea, said on Saturday the new resolution highlighted the need for peaceful resolution through negotiation.
“The difference between the new resolution and the original US proposal reflects the will of China and Russia to prevent war and chaos on the Korean Peninsula. If the US proposals were accepted, only war is foreseeable,” reported the Global Times, a Chinese state-run tabloid.
North Korea equates the sanctions to a “complete economic blockade” and has threatened to punish each country that voted in favor of the resolution. The regime has promised to boost its nuclear program in response.
“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,” said North Korea’s foreign ministry.
“If the US wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards the DPRK and learn to co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons and should wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons which we have developed and completed through all kinds of hardships,” continued the statement, which was broadcast on North Korea’s Central News Agency.