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North Korea parliament writes to US Congress to protest new sanctions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A view of the North Korean parliament in session

North Korea’s parliament has sent a protest letter to the United States House of Representatives, condemning the new American sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

On May 4, the US House of Representatives passed new sanctions against Pyongyang, targeting the country’s exports and shipping industry.

According to the North’s KCNA, the foreign affairs committee of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly, in a rare move, on Friday wrote to the US House of Representative, condemning the imposition of the sanctions as a “heinous act against humanity.”

North Korea is subject to international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which Pyongyang sees as a deterrent against a potential invasion by its adversaries.

This image shows a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, in Pyongyang, on April 15, 2017. (By AFP)

The new US sanctions ban ships owned or hired by North Korea from operating in US waters or docking at US ports. Products originating from North Korea would also be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the legislation.

Only one of the 420 US Representatives, namely Rep. Thomas Massie, voted against the sanctions.

The legislation also requires US President Donald Trump to report to the Congress within 90 days on whether North Korea has retreated on its activities or should be reinstated on the government’s list of “state sponsors of terror.” The extension of that designation would trigger even more sanctions.

Over the past weeks, tensions have been mounting on the Korean Peninsula.

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Trump’s administration has repeatedly said that “all options are on the table” in response to new tests of missiles and nuclear bombs by North Korea.

The US has sent warships, aircraft, and a nuclear submarine to the Korean waters to intimidate Pyongyang.

In response, North Korea has voiced readiness to fight off an invasion. Pyongyang has threatened the US, and its regional allies like South Korea and Japan, of fierce retaliation in response to any sort of military aggression.

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