North Korea has vowed to retaliate and make “the US pay a price” for drafting fresh UN sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons programme.
The sanctions, which were unanimously passed by the UN on Saturday 15 to 0, were a “violent violation of our sovereignty,” the official KCNA news agency said. Separately, South Korea says the North has rejected an offer to restart talks, dismissing it as insincere.
The sanctions will aim to reduce North Korea’s export revenues by a third. The sanctions include,
- Importing coal, seafood, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore from North Korea is banned
- Countries cannot receive new North Korean workers
- No new joint ventures with North Korean entities or individuals
- No new investment in existing joint ventures
- More individuals targeted with travel bans and assets freezes
- Member states to report to the UN Security Council within 90 days on how they have implemented resolution
The UN Security Council decision followed repeated missile tests by the North which have escalated tensions in the Korean peninsula. In its first major response on Monday, North Korea insisted that it would continue to develop its controversial nuclear weapons programme.
The state-run KCNA news agency said Pyongyang would “not put our self-defensive nuclear deterrent on the negotiating table” while it faces threats from the US. It threatened to make the US “pay the price for its crime… thousands of times,” referring to America’s role in drafting the UN sanctions resolution.
Speaking to reporters at a regional forum in the Philippine capital, Manila, North Korean spokesman Bang Kwang Hyuk said: “The worsening situation on the Korean peninsula, as well as the nuclear issues, were caused by the United States. “We affirm that we’ll never place our nuclear and ballistic missiles programme on the negotiating table, and won’t budge an inch on strengthening nuclear armament.”
On Monday, President Donald Trump spoke to his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in over the phone about relations on the Korean peninsula.
They agreed that North Korea “poses a grave and growing direct threat” and the two leaders were committed to fully implementing the latest round of UN sanctions, the White House said in a statement.