For all the hope that this weekend's UN breakthrough, in which the Security Council voted unanimously 15-0 to impose $1 billion in sanctions on North Korea exports, that saw both China and Russia side with the US, would lead to a resolution of the North Korean crisis, it appears that the rogue regime refuses to even contemplate a negotiation or a cooling of tensions and on Monday, North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. if provoked militarily and said it would “under no circumstances” negotiate on its nuclear and missile weapons programs.
In a written statement handed to reporters on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Manila, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said the regime had developed nuclear weapons as a legitimate option for self-defense “in the face of a clear and real nuclear threat posed by the U.S.” He said the U.S. had sought United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang in an effort to disguise a conflict with the regime as an international issue. The world was “becoming gradually aware of the danger” of President Donald Trump’s ”America First” policy of prioritizing U.S. interests in international affairs, Ri added.
This was North Korea's first official response to the fresh sanctions voted through by the UN security council.
As Reuters elaborates, North Korea is ready to give the United States a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force if it takes military action against it, and will not put its nuclear program or its missiles on the negotiating table, it said in a statement to a regional meeting on Monday.
In a transcript of a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, which was distributed to media in Manila, Pyongyang called new U.N. sanctions "fabricated" and warned there would be "strong follow-up measures" and acts of justice. It said the resolution showed the United Nations had abused its authority.
As quoted by Bloomberg, North Korea asked Asean and participants in regional forum in Manila to “take impartial and practical stand and attitude” on its nuclear weapons, which it says it has no intention of using against any other country except U.S. and those that will join America.
“We take great pride and self-conceit in the fact that we can contribute to decisively reducing the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and in the Asia Pacific by possessing a strong nuclear deterrence,” Yong Ho says in statement at Asean Regional Forum, a copy of which was distributed to reporters in Manila
North Korea expects forum and Asean “will distinguish the essence of the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula and the danger of the ‘America First’ policy” as foreign ministers showing great deal of interest in situation in Korean peninsula. The foreign minister also accused Japan, South Korean authorities of “kowtowing blindly to U.S.”
He said that North Korea seeks to convince UN to withdraw sanctions and to persuade U.S. to drop its hostile policy:
“Had it not been the hostile policy enforced by the U.S. for more than 70 years against North Korea since the first day if its founding and had the policy not been intensified with an undisguised nuclear blackmail and threat, the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula would not have come into being from the beginning.”
North Korea also said its intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July proved that the entire United States was in its firing range, and those missiles were a legitimate means of self-defense.
On Sunday night Donald Trump tweeted that he had "Just completed call with President Moon of South Korea. Very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions."
Just completed call with President Moon of South Korea. Very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2017
While Trump, who is on "working vacation" for the next two weeks, is up early, tweeting up another firestorm this morning, he has yet to respond to the latest rebuttal from North Korea.