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North Korea slams ‘hostile’ US sanctions

North Korea has warned the United States of “unimaginable consequences” if it continues “hostile” policies after Washington imposed a fresh round of sanctions against the Asian state.

“If the US persistently pursues its anachronistic hostile policy toward the DPRK (North Korea) this way, this would only entail unimaginable consequences quite contrary to what the US desires,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“Hostile” sanctions would “only heighten the spirit of self-reliance and increase the strenuous efforts” among workers of North Korea’s weapons industry and boost the amount of resources for arms manufacturing, the statement added.

The statement also urged respect for “the peace treaty with the US in order to put an end to the hostile policy,” which it said was “the root cause of all problems.”

“Lasting peace and stability are possible on the Korean Peninsula only when the US hostile policy toward the DPRK is brought to an end and hostile relations between them are defused,” it added.

The statement comes a week after Washington slapped new sanctions on the North Korean army’s Strategic Rocket Force, two banks, and three shipping companies accused of arms trade. The bans also prohibit American entities from engaging in any transactions with the firms.

Pyongyang already faces sanctions from several other countries and the United Nations mainly due to accusations that its Strategic Rocket Force performed several missile tests in 2014.

North Korea says its missile tests, slammed mainly by the US and South Korea, seek to boost defense capabilities in the face of enemy threats.

UN chief ‘hopes’ to visit North

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ©AFP

On Wednesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was discussing with North Korean officials a visit to the country, expressing hope that they would be able to agree on a date soon.

“I sincerely hope that we’ll be able to find a mutually convenient date as soon as possible,” Ban said.

The last UN chief to visit North Korea was Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who traveled to the country in 1993.

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