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N. Korea threatens to quicken nuclear development against sanctions

All News 18:44 June 16, 2017

SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea announced Friday that it will accelerate efforts to bolster its nuclear arsenal to counter the U.S.-led "hostility" highlighted by a wide web of sanctions on the communist regime.

In a press statement, the North's Foreign Ministry gave a detailed account of the decades-long sanctions it faces for a series of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

"The despicable sanctions and pressure imposed on the DPRK by the U.S. and its vassal forces have reached the extreme," it said, using the acronym for the nation's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

It's an "outcome of the extremely hostile policy of the U.S.," it argued.

The Donald Trump administration has been pushing for "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang with the primary goal of resolving the North Korea issue through dialogue rather than the use of force.

In addition to sanctions under the U.N. Security Council resolutions, the North said, the U.S. continues to invent different kinds of its own punitive measures, even targeting its "supreme dignity."

"A quick calculation shows that 15 (communist) party and government organs, 73 other firms and entities and about 90 individuals of the DPRK are currently placed on the sanctions list, together with 16 airplanes and 20 trade cargo ships, but hardly any of them are associated with munitions area at all," the ministry said in the English-language statement carried by the official news agency KCNA.

It's unusual for the reclusive country to reveal such specific numbers related to sanctions on it.

The North also accused the U.S. of having virtually launched the "secondary boycott" to punish the individuals and entities of China and other foreign countries for ties with Pyongyang's weapons of mass destruction program.

"Business persons and firms of several countries including China and Russia have already fallen victim to it and suffered huge losses in their economic activities and business management as they were unreasonably put on the sanctions list of the U.S.," it said.

It labeled such sanctions as a "heinous act of hostility and aggression" against Pyongyang to overthrow its ideology and system by all means.

In response, the North will "further speed up the strengthening of its nuclear force to root out the base of aggression and all evils," said the ministry.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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