‘BALANCE OF FORCE’
The North Korean foreign ministry said its nuclear weapons were a self-defensive deterrence not in contradiction of international law.
“We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the U.S. nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the U.S,” it said.
“The U.S. should not forget even a second the entity of the DPRK which rapidly emerged as a strategic state capable of posing a substantial nuclear threat to the U.S. mainland,” it added.
North Korea said those who voted for the sanctions would face its wrath.
“Those countries that raised their hands in favour of this ‘sanctions resolution’ shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the ‘resolution’ and we will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done.”
The North’s old allies China and Russia both supported the latest U.N. sanctions
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.
In November, North Korea demanded a halt to what it called “brutal sanctions“, saying a round imposed after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3 constituted genocide.
U.S. diplomats have made clear they are seeking a diplomatic solution but proposed the new, tougher sanctions resolution to ratchet up pressure on North Korea’s leader.
China, with which North Korea does some 90 percent of its trade, has repeatedly called for calm and restraint from all sides.
China said on Saturday the new resolution also reiterated the need for a peaceful resolution via talks and that all sides needed to take steps to reduce tensions
Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times said on Saturday the tougher resolution was aimed at preventing war.
It suggested the United States had wanted an even harsher resolution, and noted there was no indication in the resolution that the United Nations could grant the United States permission for military action.
“The difference between the new resolution and the original U.S. proposal reflects the will of China and Russia to prevent war and chaos on the Korean Peninsula. If the U.S. proposals were accepted, only war is foreseeable,” it said in an editorial.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING and Hyonhee Shin in SEOUL; Additional reporting by Haejin Choi; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Robert Birsel)