North Korea calls new United Nations sanctions an "act of war"


North Korea said Sunday that the United States should give up its "pipe dream" that it will stop producing nuclear weapons, in a statement released by the foreign ministry on Sunday.

The latest round of sanctions was prompted by the November 29 test of what North Korea said was an intercontinental ballistic missile that put the USA mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the resolution appropriately strengthened the sanctions but was not created to affect ordinary people, normal economic exchanges and cooperation, or humanitarian aid.

It added that the ministry will closely watch North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year address on January 1 to see if it alludes to such possibilities.

China, the North's lone major ally, and Russian Federation both supported the latest United Nations sanctions, while on Monday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called for all countries to make constructive efforts to ease tension.

Next year, North Korea is expected to start to feel the pinch of worldwide and bilateral sanctions on the country's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the ministry said.

Kim told a meeting of members of the ruling Workers' Party on Friday that the country "successfully realized the historic cause of completing the state nuclear force" despite "short supply in everything and manifold difficulties and ordeals owing to the despicable anti-DPRK moves of the enemies".

The North Korean foreign ministry said its nuclear weapons were a self-defensive deterrence not in contradiction of global law. "That was a good move, a major accomplishment", he said.

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North Korea regularly threatens to destroy South Korea, the United States and Japan, and says its weapons are necessary to counter US aggression.

North Korea has warned that a new round of UN sanctions against it are "an act of war", saying the United States and other nations that supported the strict measures will pay a heavy price.

The North's old allies China and Russian Federation both supported the latest United Nations sanctions.

"North Korea is forecast to maximise efforts to endure (the impact of sanctions) by tightening social control and mobilising its people for building the economy", the ministry said.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved the sanctions in response to North Korea's latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says can reach anywhere on the US mainland.

China, with which North Korea does some 90 percent of its trade, has repeatedly called for calm and restraint from all sides and for a return to talks.

"The difference between the new resolution and the original US proposal reflects the will of China and Russian Federation to prevent war and chaos on the Korean Peninsula".