iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — North Korea said Monday it will take “thousands-fold” revenge against the United States in response to new international sanctions over its nuclear program.
The statement came through a state-run media outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, two days after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions to penalize the isolated regime for its escalating nuclear and missile programs, including its recent launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, most recently in late July.
North Korea slammed the penalties — which could slash a third of the country’s $3 billion in export revenue — as a “violent infringement of its sovereignty” and part of a “heinous U.S. plot to isolate and stifle” the country.
The sanctions ban North Korea exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products, estimated to be worth $1 billion.
But North Korea asserted the punishment will not lead it to change course.
“It’s a wild idea to think the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will be shaken and change its position due to this kind of new sanctions formulated by hostile forces,” Pyongyang said in its statement.
Bang Kwang Hyok, a spokesman for the North Korean delegation at an international summit in Manila, echoed the statement, suggesting that the U.S. is the villain in the conflict over his country’s nuclear program.
“We have already explained that unless the U.S.’s villainous policies and nuclear threats are solved and settled, our nuclear arms and ICBM will never be up for negotiation, and we will never give way in the path of nuclear development we have selected,” he told reporters.
Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the U.N., said the sanctions package is “the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled” against North Korea. President Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the vote.
“The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was also at the summit in Manila, said the U.S. is open to talks with North Korea if the country stops testing ballistic missiles.
Asked by a member of the press how long North Korea would have to refrain from conducting missile tests before talks could begin, Tillerson said, “We’ll know it when we see it.”
He added that the United States’ willingness to enter talks would depend on the North Korean regime’s “attitude.”
“The best signal that North Korea could give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Tillerson said. “This is not a ‘Give me 30 days and we are ready to talk.’ It’s not quite that simple. So it is all about how we see their attitude towards approaching a dialogue with us.”
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