N.Korea rejects UN sanctions, defends nuclear programme

North Korean supreme leader, Kim Jong-un (File Photo)

Pyongyang, Dec 24 (IANS) North Korea on Sunday rejected the latest sanctions imposed on it by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and reiterated its intention of further developing its nuclear deterrence programme.

A Foreign Affairs Ministry statement said that Pyongyang criticised the punitive measures announced on Friday that further limit the country’s access to petroleum products, ban its exports in several sectors and force its citizens working abroad to return to the country, reports Efe news.

“The US, 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,” said the statemen.

It said that Pyongyang considered the sanctions to be a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of the country, and an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the entire region.

“If the US wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards North Korea and learn to co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons.”

The statement said that Pyongyang aims to further consolidate its nuclear deterrence aimed at eradicating US nuclear threats and blackmail by establishing a balance of force.

The latest UNSC measures came in response to North Korea’s latest launch of a long-range ballistic missile in November, capable of reaching any part of the American mainland.

Washington was the leading proponent of the fresh sanctions and obtained the support of 14 other members of the UNSC, including China and Russia.

Resolution 2397 toughens the measures already in place against Pyongyang and is an attempt to further complicate North Korea’s financing of its weapons programs and force it to the negotiating table.