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PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea's foreign ministry on Saturday said it "vehemently denounces and totally rejects" a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution which imposed tough new sanctions to punish the reclusive state for last month's nuclear test.
"The resolution is a clear proof that the UNSC was abused for the implementation of the hostile policy of the U.S. to bring down the ideology and system chosen by the people of the DPRK by disarming and suffocating it economically," the unidentified foreign ministry spokesman said, referring to the country by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Resolution 2094, the council's fifth resolution since 2006, strengthens and significantly expands the scope of UN sanctions which were already in place. The sanctions aim to significantly impede North Korea's ability to further develop nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its proliferation activities.
The 15-member Council on Thursday unanimously adopted the tightened sanctions, which target the country's trade and banking, as well as travel by targeted officials. In addition, the Council demanded that the country retract its announcement of withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and reaffirmed its demand for North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.
The North Korean diplomat said Saturday it had initially planned to focus its efforts on economic development and the improvement of people's living standards, but blamed the council's response to the launch of a long-range Unha-3 rocket in December for having "pushed" the country to carry out its nuclear test last month for self-defense. The rocket was claimed to be the launch of a weather satellite but other countries have described it as a long-range missile test in disguise.
"The UNSC has cooked up five resolutions on sanctions against the DPRK at the instigation of the U.S. for the last eight years but they only resulted in the DPRK's bolstering of its nuclear deterrent, qualitatively and quantitatively, quite contrary to what they expected," the spokesman said, adding that the sanctions would only increase the state's military capabilities.
Denouncing and rejecting the resolution, the official added: "The DPRK's nuclear deterrent has provided a firm guarantee for defending the country's sovereignty and vital rights and served as an all-powerful treasured sword for shattering the U.S. moves to ignite a nuclear war and bringing earlier the historic cause of national reunification."
Earlier this week, North Korea said it will on March 11 nullify the Korean War Armistice Agreement that put into force a cease-fire in an effort to end the Korean War. The government later threatened the United States with a preemptive nuclear strike in response to massive military exercises being staged in the region this month.
In Saturday's statement, which was relatively mild when compared to previous statements, the spokesman reaffirmed it will take "stronger countermeasures in succession" if the U.S. chooses for conflict. "The DPRK will fight it out and win a final victory without fail by its own efforts and its own way," the spokesman said.