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(LEAD) N. Korea denounces UNSC for rejecting call for sanctions against U.S.

All Headlines 20:32 April 02, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional remarks from the North Korean official in paras 5-6, 9; RESTRUCTURES)

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea strongly denounced the U.N. Security Council on Saturday for rejecting its recent demand to punish the United States for staging what it claims to be war exercises aimed at toppling its communist regime.

An unidentified spokesperson from the North's foreign ministry said the country had recently demanded the U.N. Security Council hold an emergency meeting and review joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S.

"The reason we filed such a complaint was because the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, in terms of their scope and aim, are threatening world peace and security while violently violating our right to self-defense stated in the U.N. Charter," the spokesperson said in a report carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"The U.N. Security Council's rejection of our call to bring the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises before the council laid bare for the whole world to see its true identity as nothing but a faithful political tool of the U.S.," the North Korean official was quoted as saying.

The spokesperson claimed the U.N. Security Council has hence lost any legitimacy and authority to impose sanctions on the North.

"The UNSC has lost political and legal justification or moral decency to slap any sanctions against the DPRK as it has turned a blind eye to the U.S. nuclear threats to the DPRK caused by the joint military exercises for over a half a century," the spokesperson said, according to an English version of the KCNA report.

The DPRK is the acronym of the North's official name: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The North's reported demand for a review or punishment over the joint exercises comes only weeks after the U.N. Security Council imposed fresh sanctions on the communist state for its latest nuclear test and long-range missile tests that violated existing U.N. sanctions.

"The DPRK will continue exercising its legitimate right to self-defense by its own efforts now that the U.S. doesn't discontinue the nuclear war games, a vivid manifestation of the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK, and the UNSC disregards it though it is obliged to protect global peace and security," the report said.

Pyongyang periodically denounces Seoul's joint military drills with U.S. troops stationed here in South Korea but has rarely accused the U.N. Security Council of looking over what it calls war exercises.

The U.N. has maintained a command and a group of troops in South Korea since the end of the Korean War to overlook the Korean Armistice that ended the war.

South and North Korea technically remain at war as the 1950-53 conflict did not end with a peace treaty.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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