By Ryan Pickrell
North Korea strongly rejected the latest United Nations sanctions resolution, calling it an “act of war” against the rogue regime.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously decided Friday to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea in response to the North’s test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts suggest can range the entire continental U.S.
Resolution 2397 bans nearly 90 percent of North Korea’s refined petroleum imports and sets new restrictions on other essential imports, such as heavy machinery. The punitive resolution also demands the repatriation of North Korean workers generating funds for the regime abroad and puts greater pressure on North Korean shipping.
“The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment of the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country,” North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Sunday.
“We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the U.S. 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 and the region and categorically reject the ‘resolution,’” the report explained.
Pyongyang called on the U.S. and its international partners to “wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons” and learn to “co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons.”
“We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the U.S. nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the U.S.,” the state-run outlet further stated.
In the past, North Korea has stressed the need for a nuclear deterrent, but on several occasions this year, the North has hinted that it desires a nuclear arsenal akin to that of the U.S., indicating that North Korea intends to further expand its nuclear weapons stockpile and develop new means to deliver those devastating weapons to distant shores.
North Korea is already facing crippling sanctions designed to derail North Korea’s grand strategy.
The rogue state has warned that sanctions are hurting the North Korean people, a view echoed by certain American media outlets. The North does not accept that this punishment is a response to the North Korean leadership’s decision to pursue a hostile path.
“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,’” KCNA reported. “We will make sure forever and ever that they pay a heavy price for what they have done.”
China, North Korea’s long-time partner, played a significant role in the drafting and passage of the recent sanctions.