North Korea: 'Sanctions Will Only Accelerate Nuclear Program'
By Faith Magbanua, September 20, 2017 00:09 AM
A few weeks ago, the UN has warned North Korea regarding its nuclear weapons program and has imposed sanctions to the hermit country. However, things are now getting out of hand.
According to North Korea, they have warned the international community that more sanctions and pressure will only hasten its nuclear program.
In a strongly worded statement, Pyongyang called a new set of UN sanctions "the most vicious, unethical and inhumane act of hostility".
Meanwhile, the presidents of the US and China committed to "maximizing pressure" on the North through vigorous enforcement of UN resolutions.
To add to that, the US and South Korea carried out joint military exercises recently.
North Korea fired its latest missile over Japan on Friday. It travelled 3,700km (2,299 miles), putting the US Pacific territory of Guam, which North Korea says it has a plan to target, within reach.
The launch followed a fresh round of UN sanctions and was unanimously condemned by the UN Security Council as a "highly provocative" act from the small nation.
However, the foreign ministry statement, carried by the country's official news agency KCNA, said: "The increased moves of the US and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure on the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force."
It also said that the goal of the new UN sanctions, approved on the 11th of September 2017, was to "physically exterminate" the country's people, system and government.
To have a better gist about the sanctions, the sanctions are an attempt to starve North Korea of fuel and income for its weapons programs, restricting oil imports and banning textile exports.
But some critics have raised questions over the effectiveness of the restrictions, as North Korea is still able to trade internationally.
The country's commerce with China, its main ally, was partially responsible for the contry's estimated economic growth of 3.9% last year.
Meanwhile, the issue of North Korea's weapons program is expected to dominate US President Donald Trump's address at the UN General Assembly and his meetings with the leaders of South Korea and Japan.
In light of that, President Trump previously warned that "all options" were on the table and that North Korea would face "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten the US.
According from the White House, a phone call on Monday was made by President Trump to Chinese President Xi Jinping, the call states that both of them are committed to "maximizing pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement" of UN Security Council resolutions.
Washington has repeatedly urged Beijing to take more direct action to rein in Pyongyang, while China says the US should refrain from issuing more threats.
Russia has also criticized what it describes as "aggressive rhetoric" from the US and China and Russia only agreed to the new UN sanctions after they were softened by Washington.
Furthermore, the meeting on the sidelines of UN General Assembly, the foreign ministers of both countries reaffirmed their call that the crisis should be resolved by diplomacy, a statement from Russia's foreign ministry reiterated.
Meanwhile, the US military carried out an aerial military drill on Monday with South Korea near the border between the Koreas according to the defense ministry in Seoul.
The aim of the drill was to "demonstrate the deterrence capability of the US-South Korea alliance against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats", it added.
According to South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo in a parliamentary hearing speech, the exercises were being conducted "two to three times a month these days."
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