North Korea calls US sanctions ‘provocation’, warns of strong reaction


SEOUL (REUTERS) – North Korea defended its missile tests as its legitimate right to self-defence and said the United States is intentionally escalating the situation by imposing new sanctions, state media reported on Friday (Jan 14), citing the foreign ministry.

North Korea’s recent development of a “new-type weapon” was just part of its efforts to modernise its national defence capability, and did not target any specific country or harm the security of neighbouring countries, a spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

The administration of US President Joe Biden on Wednesday imposed its first sanctions over North Korea’s weapons programmes following a series of North Korean missile launches, including two since last week.

North Korea said the weapons were “hypersonic missiles” that would boost its strategic military forces.

The US sanctions show that though Washington may talk of diplomacy and dialogue, “it is still engrossed in its policy for isolating and stifling” North Korea, the foreign ministry statement said.

“The US accusation of the DPRK’s legitimate exercise of the right to self-defence is an evident provocation and a gangster-like logic,” the statement said. DPRK are the initials of North Korea’s official name.

The spokesman warned of an unspecified “stronger and certain reaction” if the US adopts a confrontational stance.

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