North Korea said earlier today that it will never give up its nuclear weapons if the US and allies continue with their blackmail and war drills. North Korea has raised tensions in 2017 with its numerous missile tests and the international community has repeatedly sanctioned the country to slow down its nuclear weapons program.
A report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that North Korea has taken steps to strengthen the capabilities for self defense and pre-emptive attacks with nuclear force. North Korea has reportedly fired 23 missiles in 16 tests since February.
In November, North Korea tested a missile that was reported to have flown for 50 minutes. The missile, which is said to be the most powerful of the three ICBMs tested by them recently, landed in Japanese waters. The missile test was the first in two months.
The missile test in November led to a meeting between the UN Security Council where they approved new sanctions. The sanctions reduce the imports of oil and petrol products. North Koreans working outside of the country will also have to return in the next two years. This move was reportedly done to prevent the government from getting foreign currency. The US announced sanctions against two North Korean officials just a few days later. The two officials are said to be behind the missile program. North Korea has said the new sanctions are an act of war.
The sanctions are just some of the many announced against the country in recent months. China has already banned the imports of several products and has also ordered North Korean companies in the country to close. China announced a ban on coal imports earlier this year. They later extended that ban to other materials and products.
Three months ago, North Korea also received tough sanctions. The sanctions came after its sixth and largest nuclear test. The US had initially proposed much tougher sanctions but they were later reduced so they could receive the support of China and Russia. Those sanctions include a limit on oil and oil products and a ban on exports of textiles.
The US had proposed an asset freeze for North Korea’s leader and a total ban on oil imports. Those two were later dropped so the sanctions could receive the support of Russia and China. North Korea later said it categorically rejected the sanctions and called them illegal. The latest sanctions were the tenth unanimously adopted by the UN in the last 11 years.