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Pyongyang vows to double down

Regime says latest UN actions only prove its path so far was right
Sept 14,2017
North Korea vowed Wednesday to “redouble the efforts to increase its strength” in its first official reaction to the latest United Nations Security Council resolution, saying that it condemns the measures in the “strongest” terms and “categorically” rejects them.

Blaming the United Sates for “employing all sorts of despicable and vicious means and methods” to pass the vote unanimously on Monday in New York, North Korea noted that the resolution was the strongest ever imposed by the council.

The sanctions are a “product of heinous provocation aimed at depriving the DPRK of its legitimate right of self-defense and completely suffocating its state and people through full-scale economic blockade,” according to an English version of the statement issued by the North’s Foreign Ministry and reported by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

DPRK is short for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The occasion, it continued, serves as a reminder that the “road it chose to go down was absolutely right.”

Accusing the United States of trying to sabotage its development, North Korea warned it will redouble efforts to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and right to existence.

The statement echoes the threat relayed by Han Tae-song, Pyongyang’s ambassador to the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Tuesday, when he said his country was prepared to use a “form of ultimate means,” through which the United States would suffer the “greatest pain” it has ever experienced.

Han, according to Reuters, accused Washington of being “fired up for political, economic and military confrontation” and of being “obsessed with the wild game of reversing the DPRK’s development of nuclear force, which has already reached the completion phase.”

In response, U.S. ambassador of disarmament Robert Wood reportedly said the latest resolution “frankly set a very clear and unambiguous message to the regime that the international community is tired, is no longer willing to put up with provocative behavior from this regime.”

On Monday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 2375 after North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, banning North Korea’s textile exports, which are the country’s second-largest export after coal, and capping the country’s imports of crude oil.

Along with several other measures, the resolution aims at reducing the North’s annual export revenue by $800 million each year, or nearly one-quarter, though it remains to be seen how China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, will follow through.

Suh Hoon, South Korea’s head of the National Intelligence Service, which is equivalent to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, said last week that the regime appears to be preparing an intermediate-range or intercontinental ballistic missile test aimed at a normal angle towards the northern Pacific.

One possible date mentioned was around Oct. 10, the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]