North Korea says 'pipe dream' it will end nuclear weapons program

Darnell Taylor
December 26, 2017

China, the North's lone major ally, and Russian Federation both supported the latest United Nations sanctions, while on Monday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called for all countries to make constructive efforts to ease tension.

Her comments came three days after the UN Security Council voted unanimously in favor of a US-drafted resolution that, among other crippling sanctions, sought to ban nearly 90 percent of the North-bound exports of refined petroleum products by limiting them to 500,000 barrels a year.

The Rodong Sinmin, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, claimed that with its launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite in February previous year, Pyongyang has "in earnest" entered the stage of developing application satellites.

Tension has been high on the flashpoint peninsula as the isolated but nuclear-armed regime has staged a series of atomic and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests - most recently on November 29.

Tension has been rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of years of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House.

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The controversial test drew quick and widespread condemnations, with Nikki Haley, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, threatening to destroy Pyongyang in case of a possible war.

"If the USA wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards the DPRK and learn to co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons and should wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons which we have developed and completed through all kinds of hardships", said the statement, carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

It also called the new resolution an "act of war" that violates North Korea's sovereignty.The Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman also noted on Monday that although the resolution appropriately strengthened the sanctions it was not created to affect common people, normal economic exchanges and cooperation, or humanitarian aid.

China, with which North Korea does some 90 percent of its trade, has repeatedly called for calm and restraint from all sides and for a return to talks.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Washington and Pyongyang to commence negotiations aimed at putting an end to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. In its 2018 forecast, South Korea's Unification Ministry said it believed the North would eventually find ways to blunt the effects of the sanctions, which seek to limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers overseas. North Korea regularly threatens to destroy South Korea, the United States and Japan, and says its weapons are necessary to counter USA aggression.

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