North Korea says the latest series of UN sanctions against the East Asian nation which Pyongyang “totally rejects” will make its nuclear and missile programs stronger. The North Korean foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the embargoes would lead Pyongyang to reinforce its status “as a nuclear weapons state and satellite launcher.” On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution, drafted by the United States and China, against North Korea, tightening Pyongyang’s financial dealings and adding new names to the UN sanctions blacklist. The resolution also threatened “further significant measures” if Pyongyang conducted more nuclear tests or rocket launches. It also expressed “gravest concern” over North Korea’s third underground nuclear test on February 12.
Meanwhile, the statement added that the embargoes “cooked up” by the UN during the past eight years had resulted in Pyongyang “bolstering its nuclear deterrent qualitatively and quantitatively.”Also on Saturday, China said it would not abandon Pyongyang and sanctions are not the ‘fundamental way’ to resolve the issues pertaining to North Korea. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at a news conference that Beijing’s backing of the new series of UN sanctions against Pyongyang should not be construed as a basic change in China’s attitude toward North Korea. “We always believe that sanctions are not the end of the Security Council actions, nor are sanctions the fundamental way to resolve the relevant issues,” the Chinese foreign minister told reporters. On December 12, 2012, Pyongyang announced that it had launched a long-range rocket from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, located in Cholsan County of North Pyongan province, and successfully placed a satellite into orbit. Pyongyang also carried out two nuclear tests on October 9, 2006 and May 25, 2009. MR/HN