North Korea says it will make the United States pay a heavy price if a proposal Washington is backing to impose the toughest sanctions ever on Pyongyang is approved by the UN Security Council this week.
The North’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement early today saying it is watching the United States’ moves closely and threatened it is “ready and willing” to respond with measures of its own.
The United States has called for a vote today on new UN sanctions against North Korea.
Last Tuesday, the US circulated a draft resolution proposing the toughest-ever UN sanctions on North Korea, including a ban on all oil and natural gas exports to the country and a freeze on all foreign financial assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
Security Council diplomats, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly because talks have been private, said the US and China were still negotiating the text late Sunday.
Previous UN sanctions resolutions have been negotiated between the United States and China, and have taken weeks or months. But the Trump administration is demanding a vote in six days.
“The US is trying to use the DPRK’s legitimate self-defensive measures as an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it,” the statement said, using the acronym for North Korea’s formal name.
“Since the US is revealing its nature as a blood-thirsty beast obsessed with the wild dream of reversing the DPRK’s development of the state nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase, there is no way that the DPRK is going to wait and let the U.S. feast on it.”
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test a week ago and has been launching ballistic missiles at a record pace.
Both are violations of UN resolutions, but Pyongyang claims it must carry them out to build nuclear deterrent against what it sees as US aggression.
Undaunted by the international criticism of its test, which Pyongyang says was of a hydrogen bomb, Pyongyang celebrated through the weekend, with concerts and banquets for the country’s nuclear scientists and engineers.
Blocking textile exports and cutting off the flow of oil from China would potentially be crippling measures. North Korea gets nearly all of its oil supply from China, with a much smaller amount coming from Russia or the open market.