North Korea has vowed retaliation against the United States after the approval of new sanctions that would encumber the state’s revenue streams – a consequence that could cost the regime approximately $1 billion a year.
The United Nations Security Council approved the sanctions as a result of Pyongyang’s two ballistic missile tests which were conducted on July 4 and July 28. Weapon experts theorize that the launched intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) were capable of reaching America’s mainland, but were fired at a lofted angle which made them land in the waters instead. Photos of leader Kim Jong Un celebrating with his troops after the tests were then released by state media.
Now, North Korea will find it harder to make money because the newly adopted sanctions are targeting the country’s primary exports such as lead, coal, and seafood products. The measures will similarly attempt to hinder the country’s ventures with several foreign corporations.
As per Reuters, the country’s state-run news agency KCNA released a statement that the launches should serve as a “stern warning” to the U.S. and that Washington should not be complacent enough to believe that “its land is safe across the ocean.”
KCNA blamed the U.S. for the new sanctions’ adoption. They warned to “make the U.S. pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country.”
An open dialogue in the near future
Meanwhile, America’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the country isn’t closing its doors for a dialogue with North Korea. CNN reports that at the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Philippines capital Manila, Tillerson declared that the new measures are representations of the international community’s commitment to the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho likewise attended the forum. He said that Pyongyang’s “possession of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles is a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of a clear and real nuclear threat posed by the U.S.”
They threaten to “teach the U.S. a severe lesson” should it decide to use military force against North Korea.
Tillerson and Ri were two of the 27 diplomats who were in attendance at the forum. South Korea’s Kang Kyung Wha also attended the event and briefly spoke with Ri at a gala dinner. However, Kang said that the encounter was “unplanned.” South Korean news outlet Yonhap further claimed that Ri, in return, described South Korea’s offer of future talks as lacking in sincerity.
South Korea’s President Roh Moo Hyun has previously helped the development of the “Sunshine Policy” which encourages dialogue with Pyongyang in a bid to defuse tensions.
[Featured Image by Ahn Young Joon/AP]