Trump welcomes new United Nations sanctions on North Korea

26 December, 2017, 10:45 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • North Korea calls on US to give up dreams that Pyongyang will abandon nuclear weapons

At the same time, the North is also likely to attempt to engage with South Korea in order to restore inter-Korean relations next year, it also said.

The Unification Ministry says next year, North Korea is likely to explore the possibility of holding talks with the US while seeking recognition as a nuclear-weapons state.

Under the resolution, only 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products can be sold to North Korea in total per year-a sharp drop from the two million barrels which had been allowed under U.N. Security Council sanctions passed in September.

"North Korea may continue to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities while searching for an outlet externally", the ministry said in its predictions for North Korea in 2018.

Pyongyang is developing its nuclear weapons to protect its sovereignty and people's lives against "the blackmail of American imperialists", it said. "We urge North Korea to change its course".

While North Korea has not yet agreed to talks with the United States about ending its nuclear weapons program, it has grown increasingly anxious about the increase in US military assets in the region.

Beijing's vote for the tougher sanctions indicates that its direct influence with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is waning and that China is recognising the global dangers from North Korea's nuclear and missile arsenals.

"The US should not forget that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has rapidly emerged as a strategic state capable of posing a substantial nuclear threat to the US mainland".

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The November ICBM launch by North Korea was its most advanced to date and allows the regime to reach any place in the world, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The sanctions include drastically lowering limits on North Korea's oil imports.

"Those countries that raised their hands in favour of this "sanctions resolution" shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the 'resolution" and we will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done, ' the foreign ministry added.

Tension has been rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, which it pursues in defiance of years of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House.

United States diplomats have made clear they are seeking a diplomatic solution but proposed the new, tougher sanctions resolution to ratchet up pressure on North Korea's leader.

China, which accounts for about 90 percent of the North's trade and is a main supplier of oil to the country, also insisted on diplomacy.

Hua noted it also called for the use of peaceful means to resolve the issue and that all sides should take steps to reduce tension. "If the USA proposals were accepted, only war is foreseeable", it said in an editorial.

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