North Korea vows not to halt missile programme despite sanctions

  • US ecretary of State Rex Tillerson rules out option to hold talks with N. Korea

PYONGYANG – Slamming UN sanctions, North Korea on Monday reaffirmed to continue to develop its controversial nuclear weapons programme.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a US-drafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea over its missile programme, imposing a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the stiffer measures brought the penalty imposed on North Korea for its ballistic missile tests “to a whole new level” and that the council had put leader Kim Jong-Un “on notice”.

Pyongyang termed the resolution a  “violent violation of our sovereignty,” the official KCNA news agency said.

On drafting the resolution by the US, it also vowed to make the US “pay the price for its crime…thousands of times”.

UN imposes ‘toughest ever’ sanctions on North Korea over missile tests

The state-run KCNA news agency said North Korea would “not put our self-defensive nuclear deterrent on the negotiating table” despite threats from the US.

Separately, South Korea says the North has rejected an offer to restart talks, dismissing it as insincere.

On the other hand, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday refused to hold talks with North Korea, saying the new sanctions showed the world’s resolve against Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.