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north_korea_threatens_us_with_nuclear_strike [2013/03/08 13:47] (current)
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 +THE UN Security Council voted unanimously yesterday for tough new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, a move that sparked a furious Pyongyang to threaten a nuclear strike against the United States.<br /><br />Immediately before yesterday's vote, an unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said North Korea would exercise its right for "a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors" because Washington was pushing to start a nuclear war against the country.<br /><br />It appeared to be the most specific open threat of a nuclear strike by any country against another.<br /><br />Although North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs and preemptive strikes, it is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the US. It is believed to have enough nuclear fuel, however, for several crude nuclear devices.<br /><br />The new sanctions are aimed at reining in the nation's nuclear and missile programs by making it more difficult for Pyongyang to finance and obtain material for these programs, tracking illegal diplomatic activity and intensifying inspections of cargo to and from the country. <br /><br />In a measure targeted at North Korean officials, the UN resolution bans all nations from exporting expensive jewelry, yachts, luxury automobiles and racing cars to North Korea.<br /><br />After the 15-0 vote, US Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters that "taken together, these sanctions will bite and bite hard."<br /><br />Responding to Pyongyang's nuclear strike threat, she said: "North Korea will achieve nothing by continued threats and provocation."<br /><br />She urged North Korea to heed US President Barack Obama's call to follow the path of peace. If it doesn't, she said, the Security Council is committed in the resolution to take further measures.<br /><br />China's UN Ambassador Li Bao Dong said the top priority now is to "bring down the heat" and focus on diplomacy and restarting the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.<br /><br />In Pyongyang, Army General Kang Pyo Yong told a crowd of tens of thousands that North Korea is ready to fire long-range nuclear-armed missiles at Washington.<br /><br />"Intercontinental ballistic missiles and various other missiles, which have already set their striking targets, are now armed with lighter, smaller and diversified nuclear warheads and are placed on a standby status," Kang said. <br /><br />"When we shell (the missiles), Washington, which is the stronghold of evils, .... will be engulfed in a sea of fire."<br /><br />The UN resolution condemns the latest nuclear test "in the strongest terms" for violating and flagrantly disregarding council resolutions, bans further ballistic missile launches, nuclear tests "or any other provocation," and demands that North Korea return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It also condemns all North Korea's ongoing nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment.<br /><br />But the resolution stresses the council's commitment "to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution" and urged a resumption of the six-party talks.<br /><br />According to the resolution, all countries would now be required to freeze financial transactions or services that could contribute to North Korea's nuclear or missile programs.<br /><br />The resolution also bans all countries from providing public financial support for trade deals, such as granting export credits, guarantees or insurance, if the assistance could contribute to North Korea's nuclear or missile programs.<br /><br />It includes what a diplomat called unprecedented new travel sanctions that would require countries to expel agents working for sanctioned North Korean firms.
north_korea_threatens_us_with_nuclear_strike.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/08 13:47 (external edit)
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