The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) responded to the new United States-pushed sanctions imposed by the United Nations on their country, saying that the measures confirmed that the “road they have chosen” is completely correct in the face of attempts to “suffocate its state and people through full scale economic blockade.”
“The DPRK will redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country's sovereignty and right to existence and to preserve peace and security of the region by establishing the practical equilibrium with the U.S.” a statement released by the official KCNA news agency said.
The DPRK's ambassador to Russia, Kim Hyun Joong said on Tuesday that “since the United States has thrown a comprehensive challenge to our country in all areas, including political, economic and military, we are ready to respond resolutely to this, and this is the firm and unshakable will of our army and our people,” according to Xinhua.
The ambassador continued to say that his country would continue to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrence to the U.S. “hostile policy” that has continued for over half a century.
The most recent round of sanctions from the United Nations Security Council were drafted and put forward by the United States, which has significant clout within the organization. However, the original harshly drafted resolution was significantly watered down by China and Russia before it was able to pass.
Russia's foreign ministry commented on the sanctions on Tuesday, saying that they opposed efforts to destroy the DPRK's economy, and said the original draft of the text would have had “catastrophic humanitarian impacts” on the country's population, Russian news agency TASS reported.
According to the foreign ministry, the watered down version of the sanctions allow for Russian and Chinese coal projects and air travel between the two countries to continue development. They also said that they managed to eliminate the forced deportation of workers from the DPRK from sanction requirements.
“The final resolution is not demanding sanctions against North Korea's top leaders, the government and the Workers' Party of Korea, neither is it imposing a complete ban on oil and oil products supplies in North Korea,” the ministry statement said.
Following the imposition of weakened sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Secretary has also stepped up pressure of an “economic war” against China, accusing them of being reluctant to comply with and approve sanctions brought forward through the Security Council.
“If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Tuesday at the Delivering Alpha Conference in New York City according to RT.