North Korea on Friday scrapped all nonaggression pacts with South Korea and cut off a hotline with Seoul after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on Pyongyang to punish it for its Feb. 12 nuclear test.
“It notifies the South side that it will immediately cut off the North-South hotline,” said the statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
Friday’s statement was the second belligerent response to the sanctions vote in two days, as Pyongyang threatened Thursday a “pre-emptive” nuclear strike against the United States. The White House dismissed North Korea’s bluster and urged it not to miscalculate.
The resolution, designed to send a powerful message to North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, targets financial activities of North Korean banks; imposes travel sanctions on blacklisted North Koreans; and bans the transfer to and from North Korea of ballistic missile, nuclear and chemical weapons technology.
“We want to see full implementation of the resolution,” Mr. Li said in comments reported by The Associated Press.
“The top priority now is to defuse the tensions, bring down heat bring the situation back on the track of diplomacy, on negotiations,” he added, while calling for a resumption of stalled six-nation talks aimed at removing nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.
The leadership in Pyongyang will exercise its right to “a pre-emptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors” because Washington is “set to light a fuse for a nuclear war,” Korean Central News Agency quoted an unidentified spokesman as saying.
New U.N. sanctions also will prompt North Korea to act sooner on a threat, made following the nuclear test, to use “powerful second and third countermeasures,” he added. Pyongyang has not disclosed what those measures are.View Entire Story
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Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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