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North Korea condemns latest UN nuclear sanctions, vows response

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 23:31

Kim Jong Un.jpg
Kim Jong Un's government said it would take an "action of justice" in response to the sanctions that were "fabricated by the US," Korean Central News Agency reported on Monday, without elaborating. It called the sanctions a violation of sovereignty.

[SEOUL] North Korea condemned the latest round of United Nations sanctions and reiterated that it wouldn't negotiate its nuclear deterrence until the US ceases "hostile" policies.

Kim Jong Un's government said it would take an "action of justice" in response to the sanctions that were "fabricated by the US," Korean Central News Agency reported on Monday, without elaborating. It called the sanctions a violation of sovereignty.

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved measures to restrict North Korea's exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood after it tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the US.

The sanctions would also punish some of its biggest companies and cap the number of its citizens working in other countries at current levels.

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The KCNA report came as diplomats in Asia stepped up efforts to get North Korea to resume dialogue during a regional security meeting in the Philippines. 

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha urged North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho on Sunday to respond as soon as possible to an offer to resume talks between the two countries, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unidentified foreign ministry official from Seoul. 

Mr Ri, who previously said he wouldn't speak with Mr Kang, said the offer "lacks sincerity," according to the unnamed official. South Korea's foreign ministry didn't immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.

"It's a positive but very small step, and can at least help the two Koreas exchange some views on the current state of affairs," Kim Jin Ho, a professor of political science at Dankook University in South Korea, said of the meeting between foreign ministers.

"North Korea would use the talk as a bargaining chip with the US, as their goal is to have dialogue with Washington, not Seoul."

In a phone call on Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae In told his US counterpart Donald Trump that North Korean issues must be resolved peacefully and diplomatically.

He said the countries needed to show Pyongyang that the door to dialogue was open if North Korea gave up its nuclear weapons and missile programs, according to a Moon spokesman.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is attending the security forum in Manila, said Monday that the best signal North Korea could give that it's ready for talks with the US was to halt missile launches, the Associated Press reported.

"We're not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks," Mr Tillerson said.

"This is really about the spirit of these talks."

Joint discussions between six nations - China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Russia and the US - collapsed in 2009.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Manila that Beijing wanted North and South Korea to repair their relationship and praised what he described as Mr Moon's "positive" overtures. He noted that North Korea has ruled out Mr Moon's suggestions for renewed military and humanitarian exchanges exchanges.

Mr Moon, who took office in May, has advocated engaging Pyongyang with dialogue and offered to hold rare military talks with the North to ease tensions after Mr Kim's first successful ICBM test July 4.

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