North Korea vows 'thousands-fold' revenge against US over tough UN sanctions

South Korean soldiers stand guard before North Korea's Panmon Hall (rear C) and the military demarcation line separating North and South Korea, at Panmunjom, on 6 August

North Korea says it will deliver "thousands-fold" revenge against the United States over the adoption of tough United Nations sanctions imposed after its intercontinental ballistic launches.

The warning came two days after the UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea, which could slash its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.

In a statement carried by state media, North Korea said the sanctions were a "violent infringement of its sovereignty" that was caused by a "heinous US plot to isolate and stifle" North Korea. It said the UN sanctions would never force the country to negotiate over its nuclear program or to give up its push to strengthen its nuclear capability.

The North also said it would take "action of justice" but did not elaborate. "There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean," the Korean Central News Agency said. China's Foreign Ministry has called on all sides to exercise restraint and make positive efforts to resolve the North Korean issue.

Meanwhile, the Chinese state media has stressed the limits of new United Nations sanctions on North Korea, and also slammed the United States for its "arrogance", saying Washington needs to understand it also has a role in lessening tensions.

The US-drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood following Pyongyang's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July. It also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean labourers working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures.

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter a day after the council backed the new sanctions to announce that he had spoken with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "Just completed call with President Moon of South Korea. Very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions," he said.

In a front-page commentary, the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily said North Korea's open flouting of UN rules with its missile launches meant that it had to be punished, but sanctions had to be targeted.

"Sanctions to the greatest possible extent must avoid causing negative impacts to ordinary people and to third countries, and avoid bringing disaster to the country in question's normal and legal trade and business exchanges with the outside world, people's normal lives and the humanitarian situation," it wrote.

"A precision blow is the essential part of sanctions."

China has repeatedly said that while sanctions need to be imposed, they cannot bring a final resolution to the North Korea issue, which has to be addressed by talks. China has also called for Washington and Seoul to help lower tensions by reining in their military activities and drills on the peninsula, and by withdrawing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system.

The influential Global Times, published by the People's Daily, said in an editorial that the US needed to curb its "moral arrogance over North Korea". "The West should be reminded to exercise restraint. If it believes it is only North Korea rather than the US and South Korea as well to blame for the nuclear issue, this ill-fitting mindset will not help solve the crisis," the strongly nationalist publication said.

"The US should aim for peace and co-existence rather than geopolitical dominance."

Reuters/AP

North Korea vows 'thousands-fold' revenge against US over tough UN sanctions North Korea vows 'thousands-fold' revenge against US over tough UN sanctions Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Monday, 7 August 2017 Rating: 5

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