North Korea rejects UN sanctions, vows 'action'

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 02:59 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 117 times

North Korea has come out fighting following fresh UN Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang and after the United States and South Korea celebrated the punishing measures.

 

North Korea on Monday condemned the sanctions imposed in response to its weapons programmes, saying it would not negotiate over nuclear arms while threatened by the US.

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, adding it would take "righteous action" in return.

"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 UN Security Council unanimously adopted on Saturday a US-led resolution, which bans mineral and seafood exports from North Korea worth more than $1bn.

The triggering event late July, North Korea's latest test of ballistic missiles, had the international community and experts concerned. Along with the North Korean government, they say the missiles can reach different parts of the US.

Top diplomats meet in Manila

Meanwhile, several Asian foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, are currently gathered in the Philippine capital, Manila, for an ASEAN regional summit.

There, North Korea on Sunday dismissed offers of talks from South Korea during a rare exchange between the two rivals' foreign ministers, according to Seoul's state-funded Yonhap news agency.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha shook hands with her Northern counterpart, Ri Yong-Ho, before a forum dinner.

In the brief encounter, Kang urged Ri to accept Seoul's offers of military talks to lower tensions on the divided peninsula, and for discussions on a new round of reunions for divided families.

"Given the current situation in which the South collaborates with the US to heap pressure on the North, such proposals lacked sincerity," an unnamed South Korean foreign ministry official has quoted Ri as saying in response.

"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 UN Security Council unanimously adopted on Saturday a US-led resolution, which bans mineral and seafood exports from North Korea worth more than $1bn.

The triggering event late July, North Korea's latest test of ballistic missiles, had the international community and experts concerned. Along with the North Korean government, they say the missiles can reach different parts of the US.

Top diplomats meet in Manila

Meanwhile, several Asian foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, are currently gathered in the Philippine capital, Manila, for an ASEAN regional summit.

There, North Korea on Sunday dismissed offers of talks from South Korea during a rare exchange between the two rivals' foreign ministers, according to Seoul's state-funded Yonhap news agency.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha shook hands with her Northern counterpart, Ri Yong-Ho, before a forum dinner.

In the brief encounter, Kang urged Ri to accept Seoul's offers of military talks to lower tensions on the divided peninsula, and for discussions on a new round of reunions for divided families.

"Given the current situation in which the South collaborates with the US to heap pressure on the North, such proposals lacked sincerity," an unnamed South Korean foreign ministry official has quoted Ri as saying in response.