SEOUL: North Korea on Monday condemned the latest United Nations sanctions imposed in response to its weapons programmes, saying it would not negotiate over nuclear arms while threatened by the United States.
The sanctions passed at the weekend were a “violent violation of our sovereignty”, Pyongyang said in a statement carried by its official Korean Central News Agency.
“We will not put our self-defensive nuclear deterrent on the negotiating table” while it faced threats from Washington, it said, “and will never take a single step back from strengthening our nuclear might”.
The United Nations Security Council at the weekend passed a new set of sanctions against Pyongyang over its weapons programmes, including bans on the export of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood from the impoverished state.
The measures were approved unanimously – including by China, the North’s sole major ally and economic lifeline, and Russia.
Tension has been running high since the nuclear-armed North staged two successful ICBM tests last month, sparking global alarm over its rapidly-advancing weapons capability.
Pyongyang threatened to make the US – which drafted the latest sanctions package – “pay the price for its crime… thousands of times”.
“If the US… Believes that it would remain safe because its mainland is an ocean away from us, nothing would be a bigger misjudgment than that,” it said.
Other nations that “collaborated with the US” to support the resolution would also be “held accountable”, it added.