North Korea warns it will build up nukes
North Korea reacted swiftly to U.N. punishment for its December rocket launch, warning on Wednesday that the regime would push ahead with strengthening its defenses — including its nuclear weaponry — as concerns grow that Pyongyang may conduct a new atomic test.
The defiant statement from North Korea's Foreign Ministry was issued just hours after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning Pyongyang's rocket launch as a violation of a ban against nuclear and missile activity. The resolution also tightens existing sanctions by ordering the freeze of more North Korean assets and imposing a travel ban on four more officials.
The Foreign Ministry lashed out at what it called evidence of “U.S. hostility” and warned that it would rebuff any attempt to engage Pyongyang in disarmament negotiations.
“There can be talks for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region in the future, but no talks for the denuclearization of the peninsula,” the Foreign Ministry said in a memorandum carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea ominously warned that it would take steps to “bolster the military capabilities for self-defense, including the nuclear deterrence.”
The Security Council reiterated its previous demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program in a “complete, verifiable and irreversible manner” and cease launches. China joined in approving the resolution, the first in four years to expand the sanctions regime on North Korea.
Pyongyang maintains that its Dec. 12 launch was a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space.
The launch has been celebrated as a success in North Korea, and the scientists involved treated like heroes. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cited the success of the launch in his New Year's Day speech laying out North Korea's main policies and goals for the upcoming year.
However, Washington and its allies consider the long-range rocket launch a covert test of ballistic missile technology, and suspect Pyongyang is working toward mounting a nuclear warhead on a missile capable of striking the United States.
North Korea tested nuclear bombs in 2006 and 2009, both times just weeks after similarly launching long-range rockets.
Six-nation disarmament negotiations aimed at offering North Korea much-needed food and fuel in return for dismantling its nuclear program have been stalled since North Korea walked away from the discussion following its 2009 rocket launch.
It is believed that China may have been willing to join the new Security Council resolution because satellite surveillance has shown activity at North Korea's nuclear blast test sites suggesting another atomic test may be imminent.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000 as villages plead for aid
- United States aided rebels in Caucasus, Russian President Putin claims
- Israel thwarts terrorist attack
- Nepal quake: More than 1,800 dead, history razed, Everest shaken
- France re-creates prehistoric art of cave paintings
- Nazi guard’s trial ‘a gift’ for survivors
- Smuggler’s error transforms rescue into tragedy at sea
- Military draftees ignore Ukraine’s call to arms
- Employees of Mercer County-based manufacturer among missing in Nepal
- Aftershocks terrify survivors of quake in Nepal that killed 2,500
- Intense aftershocks rattle Nepal