North Korea warned Sunday that a new round of UN sanctions against it are “an act of war,” saying the US and other nations that supported the strict measures will pay a heavy price.
The comment, another in a series of typically belicose remarks made by the rogue state against the US, comes after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted US-drafted sanctions against North Korea for its November intercontinental ballistic missile test.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said the new sanctions will strangle North Korea’s energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling.
The resolution cuts exports of gasoline, diesel and other refined oil products by a total of 89 percent, Haley said. It also bans exports of industrial equipment, machinery, transportation vehicles and industrial metals to North Korea, and requires countries using the reclusive nation’s laborers to send them back home within 24 months.
Additionally, the resolution prohibits countries from smuggling North Korean coal and other prohibited commodities by sea.
The council authorized member states to inspect, seize and impound any vessels in their territorial waters found to be providing prohibited items.
‘Complete economic blockade’
In a statement on its official KCNA news agency, North Korea’s foreign ministry lashed out against the sanctions, saying the US is intimidated by the nation’s nuclear power.
“The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment … is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country,” the statement said.
North Korea warned that if the United States “wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy” toward North Korea.
“We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the US and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula,’ ” the statement said.
It described the resolution as a “complete economic blockade” and threatened nations that helped pass it.
“Those countries that raised their hands in favor of this ‘sanctions resolution’ shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the ‘resolution’ and we will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done,” the statement said.
It said the US should “wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons.”
The US State Department said Sunday it had no comment on North Korea’s latest rhetoric, citing its past condemnations of the regime. The White House and National Security Council did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
November missile test
Last month, North Korea said it successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, which was topped with a “super-large heavy warhead” and capable of striking the US mainland.
The Hwasong-15 missile reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile.
The country launched it despite repeated warnings from US President Donald Trump. Commenting on the missile test, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said it demonstrated North Korea had the ability to hit “everywhere in the world.”