North Korea has said that it will make US pay a heavy price if new sanctions are imposed on Pyongyang by the United Nations Security Council. The UNSC is set to vote later today on a proposal backed by Washington, which looks to impose the toughest sanctions ever on Pyongyang.
North Korean Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday, saying that it is watching the United States’ moves closely.
“The US is trying to use the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) legitimate self- defensive measures as an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it,” the statement said.
“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,” it warned.
Pyongyang threatened that it was “ready and willing” to respond with measures of its own.
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.
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.
Security Council diplomats revealed that US and China were still negotiating the terms of sanctions until late Sunday night.
Previous UN sanctions resolutions were negotiated between the United States and China, and had taken weeks or months. But this time, the Trump administration demanded that UNSC vote in six days.
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. In fact Pyongyang had claimed it had tested a hydrogen bomb.
Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed doubts over whether sanctions are an effective means of getting the North to stop its missile and nuclear testing. Over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also stressed the importance of diplomacy and offered to act as a facilitator if needed.
(With inputs from PTI)