North Korea slams new UN sanctions as 'act of war'

It was the first official reaction from Pyongyang, a day after the UN Security Council unanimously passed new, US-drafted sanctions that will restrict oil supplies vital for the impoverished state. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Seoul, South Korea Dec 24, 2017, 04.51 AM (IST)

North Korea on Sunday slammed the latest UN sanctions imposed on it over the isolated country`s widely-condemned intercontinental ballistic missile tests, describing the move as an "act of war".

"We fully reject the latest UN sanctions... as a violent breach of our republic`s sovereignty and an act of war that destroys the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and a wider region," Pyongyang`s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.

It was the first official reaction from Pyongyang, a day after the UN Security Council unanimously passed new, US-drafted sanctions that will restrict oil supplies vital for the impoverished state.

The sanctions received the backing of Pyongyang`s key ally China and also orders the repatriation of North Korean workers sent abroad to earn much needed revenue for Kim Jong-Un`s regime. 

The third raft of sanctions imposed on the North this year came about three weeks after Pyongyang test-fired its longest-range ICBM, which it said was capable of striking all major US cities. 

The test of Hwasong-15 further heightened global concerns over the rapid advance in the North`s missile and nuclear weapon programmes that has accelerated since Kim took power in 2011. 

The North says its weapons programmes are designed for self-defense against "hostile" US policies towards the isolated but nuclear-armed nation.