Thu, Sep 14, 2017 - Page 1 News List

N Korea vows to lift arms programs after UN sanctions

AFP, SEOUL

North Korea yesterday vowed to accelerate its weapons programs in response to “evil” sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council following its latest and most powerful nuclear test.

The US Web site 38 North raised its estimate for the yield from the explosion, which Pyongyang says was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile, to about 250 kilotonnes — more than 16 times the size of the device that devastated Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

The detonation, Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear blast, prompted global condemnation and came after it carried out two intercontinental ballistic missile launches in July that appeared to bring much of the US into range.

The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously imposed an eighth set of sanctions on the North, banning it from trading in textiles and restricting its oil imports, which the US president said was a prelude to stronger measures.

The resolution, passed after Washington toned down its original proposals to secure backing from China and Russia, came just one month after the council banned exports of coal, lead and seafood in response to the missile launch.

The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the new measures “in the strongest terms,” calling them a “full-scale economic blockade” driven by the US, and aimed at “suffocating” its state and people.

It was “another illegal and evil ‘resolution on sanctions’ piloted by the US,” it said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

“The DPRK will redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and right to existence,” the ministry said, using the abbreviation for the North’s official name.

The South Korean Ministry of Unification described the statement as “the most low-key form of response from North Korea to UN Security Council resolutions.”

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