North Korea threatened the United States with “pain and suffering” Monday prior to the United Nations’ approval of tough new sanctions.
“The forthcoming measures to be taken by [North Korea] will cause the U.S. the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history,” a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
“Since the U.S. is revealing its nature as a blood-thirsty beast obsessed with the wild dream of reversing [North Korea’s] development of the state nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase, there is no way that [North Korea] is going to wait and let the U.S. feast on it,” the statement added.
The United Nations Security Council approved soon after the U.S.-drafted resolution calling for the strongest sanctions to date in response to Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test.
The proposal, which originally called for an oil embargo, halting textile exports and placing travel and financial restrictions on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was revised in an attempt to appease China and Russia – both of whom possess veto powers.
According to the Associated Press, the resolution was passed without the “oil import ban or international asset freeze” initially sought by the Trump administration but nonetheless included strict constraints on Pyongyang’s revenue stream.
“The resolution does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates,” the AP writes. “But it only caps Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.”
“It also bans all textile exports and prohibits all countries from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers — two key sources of hard currency.”
The Trump administration thus far has relied primarily on sanctions against entities and people linked to Pyongyang in an effort to limit their missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Last month the U.S. Treasury Department announced measures targeting 10 entities and six individuals form China and Russia believed to be assisting the Kim regime. The U.S. Justice Department filed two legal complaints the same day seeking $11 million from two sanctioned companies suspected of laundering money for Pyongyang.
The United Nations Security Council also unanimously approved a resolution to impose some of the most stringent sanctions on North Korea to date in early August.
North Korea’s test last week of a purported hydrogen bomb produced a 6.3 magnitude earthquake at the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site. An aftershock, said to be caused by a cave-in at the mountainous site, spurred fears among surrounding nations that radiation could leak from the area.
South Korea revealed Friday that it had detected trace amounts of Xenon-133 shortly after the test. The radionuclide has previously been linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Despite signs indicating that North Korea was preparing a potential intercontinental ballistic missile test Sunday, Kim instead held a celebration for the country’s nuclear scientists and engineers.
North Korean celebration for nuclear scientists & engineers appears to show new images of alleged hydrogen bomb & the Punggye-ri test site pic.twitter.com/EeUf5ZMBAh
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) September 10, 2017