North Korea threatens U.S. of 'catastrophic consequences'

Kyodo News

Posted at May 20 2017 06:01 AM

North Korea's U.N. envoy on Friday warned that the United States should be prepared for "catastrophic consequences" if it presses for further sanctions against Pyongyang over its pursuit of what it considers nuclear deterrence for "self-defense" purposes.

"If the United Sates persists in anti-DPRK sanctions without understanding its rival, the administration will have to take full responsibility for the ensuing catastrophic consequences," Deputy Ambassador Kim In Ryong told reporters.

He was referring to the official name of his country, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in remarks at a press conference held to respond to an earlier press statement issued Monday by the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

The statement strongly condemned his country for carrying out its latest ballistic missile launch of a new type of rocket, called the Hwansong-12, on Sunday.

On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said countries have to pick whether they are for or against the isolated country, warning that those siding with the North would also be subject to sanctions.

Since 2006, six sanctions resolutions have been imposed on Pyongyang. The country is banned from carrying out nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, but has continued both activities despite increasing pressure from the international community.

"What is more serious is that the United States cried out for the 'sanction resolutions' which have lost its legitimacy of legality and impartiality, and intimidates the international community," he said.

He further took aim at Washington for test-firing intercontinental ballistic missiles on May 3 and April 26 at a time when the situation on the Korean peninsula "has reached the extremely dangerous phase."

Kim also suggested that if U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration want to make progress in adopting a new policy toward Pyongyang that it should "go for replacement of the Armistice Agreement between the DPRK and the U.S. into a peace accord."

Since the end of the Korean War there has been no peace treaty, only an armistice, which is a source of contention.

When asked about the recent cyberattack that spread malicious software around the globe and U.N. allegations that an expert who tracks Pyongyang's illicit activities may have had a computer hacked, Kim said that the United States has a pattern of linking such events to his country.

"This is linked to the DPRK, it is ridiculous," he said. He also called it a stereotypical way for the United States and its allies to kick off a "noisy anti-DPRK campaign."

Kim also complained that the Security Council had repeatedly ignored his calls to discuss the issue of the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises as a threat to international peace and security.

Washington and Seoul regard the exercises as routine in nature while Pyongyang considers them a threat and has long been pressing for the issue to be brought up in the Security Council.