North Korea said Monday it will launch “thousands-fold” revenge against the United States, after the United Nations imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile programs.
The statement came after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new U.S.-drafted sanctions Saturday, including a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion.
“We are ready to retaliate with far bigger actions to make the U.S. pay a price for its crime against our country and people,” the reclusive nation warned via the official Korean Central News Agency.
It said it would take a “stern action of justice.”
North Korea regularly makes flamboyant threats against the U.S. and the West.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho both attended a meeting of foreign ministers in Manila on Sunday, but avoided any direct contact. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi publicly admonished North Korea to abide by the new sanctions.
Ri did not respond publicly. North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun news website published a commentary dismissing the sanctions as “cooked up by the U.S.,” adding that “the U.S. mainland is on the crossroads of life and death.”
Tillerson said the North must stop testing missiles for an “extended period,” the Associated Press reported Monday.
“This is not a ‘give me 30 days and we are ready to talk.’ It’s not quite that simple. So it is all about how we see their attitude towards approaching a dialogue with us,” he said.
The sanctions ban North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood; and also prohibit countries from increasing existing numbers of North Korean workers employed outside the country. The sanctions also ban new joint ventures with North Korea and new investment in existing joint ventures.
President Trump tweeted after the sanctions were imposed: “The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!”
Chinese state media said North Korea had to be punished for its missile tests, but criticized the U.S. for its “arrogance” Monday. China is North Korea’s most important ally.
In a front-page commentary in its overseas edition, the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper wrote: “Sanctions to the greatest possible extent must avoid causing negative impacts to ordinary people and to third countries, and avoid bringing disaster to the country in question’s normal and legal trade and business exchanges with the outside world, people’s normal lives and the humanitarian situation.”
The Global Times, published by the People’s Daily, said United States must reign in its “moral arrogance over North Korea.”
“The West should be reminded to exercise restraint. If it believes it is only North Korea rather than the U.S. and South Korea as well to blame for the nuclear issue, this ill-fitting mindset will not help solve the crisis,” the editorial said.
North Korea has launched more than a dozen test missiles this year. Concerns were heightened last month when Pyongyang test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles analysts said were capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
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