North Korea: ‘No bigger mistake’ than US believing it is protected

Pyongyang commented for the first time on the newly imposed sanctions, promising a “justified” response. Meanwhile, North Korea informed Seoul that it has decided to reject the latter’s proposal for talks in order to decrease the tensions between the two foes, saying that the idea “lacks sincerity.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

On Monday, Pyongyang responded for the first time to the new UN sanctions that were imposed two days ago by the international body’s security council, claiming that they violate North Korea’s sovereignty. The North Korean regime said that it intends to respond to the sanctions with a “justified action.” In addition, Pyongyang threatened the US: “They believe that their country is protected across the ocean? There is no bigger mistake than that.”

Earlier today, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that Pyongyang has rejected Seoul’s proposal to hold talks in order to improve their relations. During a rare face-to-face meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries during a regional conference in Manila, the senior diplomats shook hands. During the meeting, which took place just days after North Korea was slammed with new US-drafted sanctions by the UNSC, South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha urged her North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho to reconsider and accept the proposal.

However, Ri said that his country’s position on the matter would not change due to Seoul’s partnership with Washington. “Given the current situation in which South Korea is working together with the United States in order to pressure the North, this proposal lacks sincerity,” he explained.

Trump on the phone Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Shortly thereafter, US President Donald Trump called his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in. During the hour-long phone call, the two leaders agreed to apply more pressure on North Korea and expand the sanctions ahead of the joint military drill that will take place at the end of this month. Meanwhile, China stated that Seoul and Pyongyang should improve their ties.

The spokesperson for the South Korean president announced that Moon said that he plans to keep encouraging Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table. The White House said in a statement that Trump and Moon “affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world.”

“The leaders committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the international community to do so as well,” the White House added.

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