North Korea says United Nations sanctions are an "act of war"

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on November 29 declared the nuclear force complete after the test of North Korea's largest-ever ICBM test, which the country said puts all of the United States within range.

The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously approved its fourth round of restrictions on Pyongyang this year, hitting North Korea on energy imports and aiming to prevent it from earning hard currency by further limiting its exports. They seek to limit the country's access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers overseas.

Britain's UN ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the Security Council is sending "a very strong united signal to the North Korean regime that enough is enough, that they must stop their nuclear programme and they must stop their intercontinental ballistic missile programme".

In addition, other countries are prohibited under the resolution from selling industrial machinery, transport vehicles, iron, steel and other metals to Pyongyang. The punitive resolution also demands the repatriation of North Korean workers generating funds for the regime overseas and puts greater pressure on North Korean shipping.

South Korea's foreign ministry told Reuters it is aware of the North Korean statement on the new sanctions, again highlighting its position that they are a "grave warning by the global community that the region has no option but to immediately cease reckless provocations, and take the path of dialogue for denuclearization and peace".

"The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment of the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country", North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency said Sunday.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley talks with Chinese deputy ambassador Wu Haitao on Friday at United Nations headquarters. The council was voting on proposed new sanctions against North Korea including sharply lower limits on its refined
N. Korea condemns new UN sanctions resolution as act of war

Ms Haley said at the time that the Trump administration believed those new sanctions, combined with previous measures, would ban over 90% of North Korea's exports reported in 2016. "We will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done", the foreign ministry statement said, in characteristically bellicose language. Washington responded by making it clear it was seeking a diplomatic solution while ratcheting up the pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Last month, North Korea announced that it had successfully fired a new ICBM, which put the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

The US-sponsored sanctions passed on Friday were a response to Pyongyang's testing of a ballistic missile last month which experts agreed could reach the US.

The Chinese foreign ministry described the situation on the peninsula as "complex and sensitive" and called on all sides to "exercise restraint and make active efforts to ease tensions".

30 November 2016: United Nations targeted North Korea's valuable coal trade with China, slashing exports by about 60% under a new sales cap.

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