Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

North Korea says new United Nations sanctions an act of war

Charlie Simmons | 26 December, 2017, 10:46

South Korea, for its part, offered encouragement for the path of diplomacy and urged the North to join the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The Unification Ministry says next year, North Korea is likely to explore the possibility of holding talks with the US while seeking recognition as a nuclear-weapons state.

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday for its recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, which would slash oil imports into the country by up to 90 percent. The resolution envisages other restrictions that concern exports of industrial equipment, heavy machinery and transport vehicles to North Korea and imports of North Korean commodities.

Pyongyang is developing its nuclear weapons to protect its sovereignty and people's lives against "the blackmail of American imperialists", it said.

"In searching for the recognition of its status as a de facto nuclear-possessing state, (the North) would explore the possibility of negotiations with the USA".

Asserting that "there is no military option for settling the nuclear issue on the peninsula", Wu reiterated a dual-suspension proposal whereby North Korea's halting of its weapons development would be conditional upon the United States and South Korea calling off large-scale military exercises in the region.

"We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the USA nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the U.S", it said.

The UN on Saturday voted to toughen the sanctions on the isolated dictatorship, imposing a ban of almost 90% of refined petroleum exports to the country.

Camera IconThis photo from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) taken on December 23, 2017 and released on December 24, 2017 shows the 5th Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea Cell Chairpersons.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the door remains open for talks.

The resolution was drafted by the United States and negotiated with the North's closest ally, China.

The current limit was set in a Security Council resolution adopted in September following the North's sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

US diplomats have made clear they are seeking a diplomatic solution but proposed the new, tougher sanctions resolution to ratchet up pressure on North Korea's leader.

China, with which North Korea does some 90 percent of its trade, has repeatedly called for calm and restraint from all sides.

Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times said on Saturday the tougher resolution was aimed at preventing war.

"The difference between the new resolution and the original USA proposal reflects the will of China and Russian Federation to prevent war and chaos on the Korean Peninsula".

On Thursday, the regime in Pyongyang said that the "U.S.is demonstrating its power" by deploying "strategic assets in and around South Korea".

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