North Korea condemns U.N. sanctions ahead of pending resolution

SEOUL, Oct. 18 (UPI) — North Korea condemned United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions as “criminal” and said the statements are a call for war.

The message was part of a 6-page statement issued by Pyongyang’s Institute of International Affairs, state-controlled KCNA reported.

The announcement could be a response to ongoing U.S.-led efforts at the Security Council to adopt a new North Korea sanctions resolution, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

Last week U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power had said the United States would “exert all political influence” to engage China and Russia, permanent members of the Council, to work on the “strongest possible resolution” to punish North Korea.

On Tuesday local time North Korea called the sanctions “criminal” and “ridiculous” and blamed the United States for initiating the embargoes.

In March the Security Council adopted Resolution 2270 in response to Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January, which it claimed was the test of a hydrogen bomb, although analysts have cast doubt on the authenticity of that claim.

“The sanctions the United States has devised is a call for war that completely blockades us, chokes off the entire economy and creates a serious challenge to people’s livelihoods,” North Korea stated in reference to a document described as “threatening.”

On Monday the Security Council had strongly denounced the failed launch of a mid-range ballistic missile but has yet to adopt a new sanctions resolution after Pyongyang conducted its fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9.

North Korea slammed the denunciation, and stated, “Never before has the U.N. gone so far, in its treatment of an independent country.”

Pyongyang has refused to go unrecognized as a nuclear weapons state, and has continued to engage in low levels of activity at its Sohae Satellite Launching Station, where an earth observation satellite was launched in February.

U.S. analysts have said provocations may occur soon, and maybe even around the time of U.S. elections.

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