Asia Pacific / Politics

Further outside pressure will only speed up nuke preparations: Pyongyang

Kyodo

North Korea said Monday that further economic and diplomatic pressure from the United States will only serve to help Pyongyang accelerate the pace of its nuclear arms development.

“The increased moves of the United States and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure on (North Korea) will only increase our pace toward the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

In a statement, carried by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency, the unnamed spokesman also slammed the U.S.-led sanctions campaign as the “most vicious, unethical and inhumane act of hostility to physically exterminate the people” of North Korea.

The remarks came in response to a statement issued by the U.N. Security Council in the wake of North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch on Friday.

The U.N. statement condemned North Korea’s firing of the intermediate-range missile over Japan far out into the Pacific Ocean as a “highly provocative” act and called on all the world body’s member states to implement sanctions on Pyongyang thoroughly.

The intermediate-range Hwasong-12 flew about 3,700 km, a longer distance than any other missile North Korea has fired, which is capable of putting the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam within range.

The 15-member Security Council most recently unanimously adopted additional sanctions against North Korea following its sixth and strongest nuclear test on Sept. 3.

But the North Korean spokesman said it is a “foolish dream to hope that the sanctions could work” with the country and claimed that they have “failed to stop it from becoming a full-fledged nuclear weapons state and making rapid progress in the building of an economic power for more than half a century.”

Without naming China and Russia, two of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, which backed the sanctions, the spokesman said those joining the United States in imposing the new punitive measures “should start working on a good explanation” for the day when an actual equilibrium of power is achieved between Pyongyang and Washington.