North Korea slams new UN sanctions as an ‘act of war’


Mon, Dec 25, 2017 - Page 1

North Korea yesterday slammed fresh UN sanctions imposed over its missile tests as an “act of war,” its first response to the latest diplomatic move to punish Pyongyang’s ever-accelerating weapons drive.

Tension has been high on the flashpoint peninsula as the isolated, but nuclear-armed regime has staged a series of atomic and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests — most recently on Nov. 29.

The latest launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM, thought to be capable of hitting all major US cities, further heightened global alarm over the rapid advance in the country’s weapons technology.

“We fully reject the latest UN sanctions ... as a violent breach of our republic’s sovereignty and an act of war that destroys the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and a wider region,” the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang’s bellicose reply came a day after the UN Security Council unanimously passed new, US-drafted sanctions that would restrict oil supplies vital for the impoverished state.

The sanctions also order the repatriation of North Korean workers sent abroad to earn much-needed revenue for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime.

The North has defended its missile and nuclear weapons programs as measures for self-defense against “hostile” US policies toward Pyongyang.

A defiant Pyongyang yesterday vowed that the country would continue its weapons push “more vigorously” to “form a balance of power with the US.”

“If you think that those toothless ‘sanctions’ could stop the victorious march of our people who have ... achieved the historic goal of building the national nuclear weapons, there would not be a bigger mistake than that,” the ministry said.

“The US and its puppet followers should never forget the newly upgraded status of our nation as a nation that could pose a real nuclear threat to the US mainland,” it added.

The North claimed last month that its ICBM could deliver a “super-large heavy [nuclear] warhead” to anywhere in the US.