North Korea warns of harsh response if new sanctions imposed

Gwen Vasquez
September 12, 2017

The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on Monday on a watered-down USA -drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its latest nuclear test, diplomats said, but it was unclear whether China and Russian Federation would support it.

According to North Korea, the United States "is trying to use Pyongyang's legitimate self-defensive measures as an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it".

South Korean officials have said after the North's sixth nuclear test on September 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb, that it could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile in defiance of worldwide pressure. Some 90 percent of North Korea's exports are destined for China.

On Monday afternoon (New York time), the UNSC is set to vote on a fresh resolution, which seeks to drain crude oil and other energy supplies to North Korea while banning the overseas sales of North Korean textile, one of its main foreign currency sources.

Since 2006, the Security Council has unanimously adopted eight resolutions ratcheting up sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

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A US -drafted resolution originally called for an oil embargo on the North, a halt to key textile exports and financial and travel bans on leader Kim Jong Un, but appears to have been watered down, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

"In case the USA eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful "resolution" on harsher sanctions, North Korea shall make absolutely sure that the U.S. pays due price", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency.

It retains language reaffirming support for long-stalled six-party talks with that goal between North Korea, the US, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.

The original USA draft would also have frozen the assets of North Korea's state-owned airline Air Koryo, the Korean People's Army, and five other powerful military and party entities.

The final draft also adds language underscoring the Security Council's commitment to North Korea's sovereignty and territorial integrity, to "a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation", and "its concern that developments on the Korean Peninsula could have risky, large-scale regional security implications". It said the United States would pay a heavy price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted.

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