North says not to tolerate ‘outrageous’ U.S. actions

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North says not to tolerate ‘outrageous’ U.S. actions

North Korea lashed out at Washington’s sanctions and urged other countries not to tolerate its “outrageous behavior,” accusing the United States of trying to dominate the world by unilateral measures.

The statement, issued on Tuesday by an unidentified spokesman of North Korea’s Foreign Affairs Ministry via the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), came four days after the regime fired another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the East Sea and as U.S. President Donald Trump mulls a sweeping package of sanctions against North Korea, Russia and Iran.

On July 27, the Senate voted 98-2 in support of the legislation, referred to as the “Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act,” which encompasses the “Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act” on Pyongyang.

Trump has 10 days to decide whether to pass the bill, which penalizes anyone linked to online commercial activities by the North Korean government, including online gambling, and authorizes sanctions against North Korea’s overseas forced labor.

Other clauses include blocking the transfer of bulk cash, precious metals and gemstones to or from North Korea, as well as crude oil, petroleum, petroleum byproducts and other natural gas resources, with some exceptions for humanitarian uses.

“At a time when discussions to add more sanctions on North Korea are at a stalemate in the UN Security Council,” said a South Korean government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “it appears North Korea is trying to attract world countries to its side and provoke internal discord.”

Or, the source continued, “The North may be trying to pressure President Trump to veto the legislation.”

“The U.S. is running the sanctions campaign against several countries with the sole and impudent intention to use it as a means to seek its own interests,” read the spokesman’s statement on the KCNA. The world, it continued in English, should not tolerate the United States’ “outrageous behavior.”

It added, “The U.S. should wake up to the reality that the overall state power and strategic position of the DPRK have reached a new high, and act with discretion,” referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Jeon Hyun-joon, director of the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Research Institute, said if the United States ignores North Korea’s warning and goes ahead with its unilateral sanctions, Pyongyang may use it as an excuse to carry out another missile test or worse -- its sixth nuclear experiment, which South Korean military officials say could come at any time.

Pyongyang is sending a message to Washington, Jeon stressed: “Ditch your anti-North Korea policy.” North Korea fired a Hwasong-14 ICBM on Friday 20 minutes before midnight from Chagang Province, in the northern part of the country. It was its second ICBM test in less than a month.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, JEONG YONG-SOO [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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