North Korea has reacted strongly against the latest UN sanctions, calling them a “flagrant violation of our sovereignty” and vowing retaliation against Washington.
Last Saturday the UN Security Council imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July.
The measures are designed to make it harder for North Korea to make money across the globe. Focusing on North Korea’s primary exports of coal, iron and seafood, the sanctions are attempting to cut off additional revenue streams by targeting some of the country’s banks and joint ventures with foreign companies. The sanctions could cripple North Korea’s already struggling economy by slashing its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.
North Korea has been damning in its response to the conditions, and justified the country’s possession of nuclear weapons and ICBM as “a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of a clear and real nuclear threat posed by the US.”
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho addressed the ASEN Regional Forum on Monday, and blamed the US for the current situation in the Korean Peninsula. “We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table,” Ri said, adding Pyongyang would “teach the US a severe lesson” if it used military force against North Korea.
North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency said the country’s missile launches were “a stern warning to the US,” and warned Washington against “believing that its land is safe across the ocean.”
The US has since responded with the Secretary of Sate Rex Tillerson saying that there is a door open for a dialogue with North Korea, if the country was willing to halt its series of missile tests.
“The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” said Tillerson, adding that “other means of communications” were open to Pyongyang. He also said any dialogue would deal with how North Korea can “feel secure and prosper economically.”