North responds to sanctions by vowing nuke test

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North responds to sanctions by vowing nuke test

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Glyn Davies, the U.S. envoy on North Korea policy, center, speaks to reporters after meeting with South Korea’s top nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul yesterday. By Oh Jong-taek


North Korea said it would carry out a third nuclear test and also promised an “all-out war” against the U.S. and its “foul followers.”

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In defiance of expanded sanctions passed by the United Nations Security Council Tuesday, the North’s National Defense Commission, the top military decision-making body, issued a statement yesterday promising a third nuclear weapons test.


“We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people,” the commission said in an English-language dispatch carried by the North’s official mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang reiterated its condemnation of the unanimously approved resolution by the Security Council and blamed it on a “U.S.-led plot of hostility” against the country.

“The UN Security Council resolution on expanding sanctions against the DPRK, which was adopted on the initiative of the U.S., represents the most dangerous phase of the hostile policy toward the DPRK,” the statement read. “We will begin an all-out war to crush down the anti-DPRK hostile actions by the United States and its foul followers and safeguard the sovereignty of our nation and people.”

Glyn Davies, Washington’s chief nuclear envoy, said yesterday in Seoul that the U.S. is still open to “authentic” and “credible” negotiations to implement the agreement made by members of the six-party talks in 2005 to denuclearize North Korea.

“Why am I here?” Davies asked at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry building in central Seoul. “We want to reinforce the message that our president [Barack Obama] and secretary of state [Hillary Clinton] have said. That message is [that] we, the United States of America, are still open to authentic and credible negotiations to implement the Sept. 19, 2005 joint statement.” Davies spoke after meeting with his counterpart Lim Sung-nam, Seoul’s chief nuclear envoy.

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“We are willing to extend our hand if Pyongyang chooses the path to peace and progress by letting go of its nuclear weapons and its multi-stage missiles,” he continued.

Davies, along with Syd Seiler, Korea director at the White House National Security Council, arrived in Seoul Wednesday before heading to Beijing today and Tokyo tomorrow.

The U.S. delegation’s visit was planned ahead of Tuesday’s Security Council resolution that condemned North Korea’s Dec. 12 launch of a long-range missile.

“This tough resolution, these tightened sanctions are reasonable, necessary and justified in the face of its obligations under previous UN Security Council actions,” Davies said. “This broad and growing consensus sends a unified message to Pyongyang and the message is: ‘Live up to your obligations, keep your promises, start down the path of denuclearization, keep the commitment you made in 2005 in the joint statement of that year, or you’ll only further isolate your nation and impoverish your people.’?”

Davies expressed concern over a nuclear test by the North.

“We hope they don’t, we call on them not to do it,” Davies said. “It would be highly provocative.”

North Korea conducted its first and second nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, which prompted tough resolutions by the UN Security Council that put sanctions on entities and individuals along with travel bans and asset freezes.

UNSC Resolution No. 1874 from 2009 clearly prohibits North Korea from using any kind of ballistic missile technologies, which Pyongyang violated with two long-range rocket launches in April and December 2012.

As a result, the UN’s 15-nation Security Council unanimously passed a 20-point new resolution, No. 2087, on Tuesday that condemned the two rocket launches and ordered expanded sanctions by adding more North Korean entities and people to its blacklist.

Pyongyang has said the rocket launch was a peaceful development of their space program and threatened to take “physical actions” and halt further talks regarding “denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.”


By Kim Hee-jin, Lee Eun-joo [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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