Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 1 News List

North Korea sends protest to US over tougher sanctions

AP, TOKYO

A North Korean parliamentary committee yesterday sent a rare letter of protest to the US House of Representatives over its new package of tougher sanctions.

The sanctions were condemned as a “heinous act against humanity” by the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee, according to a state media report.

It was not immediately clear how the protest was conveyed — if it was sent by mail or how it was addressed — as North Korea and the US have no diplomatic relations and virtually no official channels of communication.

The House on May 4 voted to impose the new sanctions, which target North Korea’s shipping industry and use of what the bill called “slave labor.”

It is not unusual for Pyongyang to condemn Washington’s moves to censure it, but direct protests to the US Congress are rare.

Pyongyang normally expresses displeasure with Washington through statements by the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs or through representatives at its UN mission in New York.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang demanded the extradition of South Korea’s spy chief, a Chinese businessman and unnamed US CIA agents over a supposed conspiracy to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Last week the North Korean Ministry of State Security said it had foiled a plot by the US and South Korean spy agencies to kill Kim using a biochemical weapon.

The North’s Central Public Prosecutors Office said it was opening the prosecution of those responsible for what it called “state-sponsored terrorism” against Kim.

It named the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director Lee Byung-ho, an NIS team director surnamed Han, NIS agent Jo Ki-chol, and Chinese businessman Xu Guanghai (許光海) as suspects, along with “masterminds in CIA.”

“We urge the relevant authorities to immediately detect and arrest and hand over” the wanted individuals, who were “targets of due heavy punishment,” it said in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s state media.

“None of the brutal perpetrators of hideous state-sponsored terrorism aiming at the removal of the DPRK supreme leadership will survive on this planet,” it added, using the acronym for the North’s official name.

Additional reporting by AFP

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