North condemns Security Council

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North condemns Security Council

North Korea issued a strong condemnation of the United Nations Security Council yesterday in response to a statement it made last week and vowed to forge ahead with its nuclear program.

“The UN Security Council announced a joint statement demanding suspension of nuclear weapons development and denuclearization,” an unnamed spokesman from the North Korean Foreign Ministry told the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency yesterday. “This is a seriously illegal act that infringes upon our autonomy and our right to develop nuclear technology. It jumps on the bandwagon of anti-DPRK policies spearheaded by the United States.”

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Britain, China, Russia and France - issued the joint statement during a meeting in Vienna on Friday urging Pyongyang to “refrain from further actions which may cause grave security concerns in the region, including any nuclear tests.”

They also expressed “grave concern” about the recently botched rocket launch, which the international community views as a disguised test of a long-range ballistic missile that has been banned by UN Security Council resolutions.

On Wednesday, the Security Council added three more North Korean companies to its sanctions list in response to the rocket launch.

Regardless, North Korea said it will continue to push forward with nuclear research.

“In order to prevent nuclear-armed countries from leaving the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the right of all countries to peacefully develop nuclear technology should be guaranteed,” the spokesman said.

“To support our self-defense capabilities, we will strongly push forward with our peaceful nuclear energy industry, shielding our sovereignty to build a strong, prosperous nation.”

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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