The North Korean government under its supreme commander Kim Jong-un has been under pressure for its nuclear weapon and ballistics tests. These led the US Department of the Treasury to impose sanctions for the first time against the Asian nation’s leader on July 6.
North Korea has first announced its nuclear capability in 2009 under Kim Jong-il. Its first test nuclear test was in 2006, where an underground test was detected to be around a kiloton.
It made subsequent tests on 2009 and 2013 with significant increase in power, and was reported to be successful by North Korean officials.
These nuclear tests alarmed the international community and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was unanimously condemned for its actions. The United States went further to describe the 2006 test as a provocative act, while other nations expressed disapproval and deep concern.
Kim Jong-un has not retreated, however, and has continued to lead North Korea’s nuclear development program. It conducted a hydrogen bomb at the start of 2016, and despite protests, launched a rocket into space, which is feared as an attempt to perform an ICBM test despite the guise of a peaceful satellite launch.
The United Nations and other countries have voted to impose additional sanctions against North Korea.
Kim Jong-un has ordered another nuclear test last month of the Hwasong-10, which it praised as a success, setting them up for a possible nuclear war with the US, thus the sanctions imposed.
Han Song Ryol, director-general of the U.S. affairs department at the North’s Foreign Ministry, tells WREG Washington has crossed the line by putting its leader Kim Jong-un in the list of sanctioned individuals.
“The Obama administration went so far to have the impudence to challenge the supreme dignity of the DPRK in order to get rid of its unfavorable position during the political and military showdown with the DPRK,” Han said. “We regard this thrice-cursed crime as a declaration of war.”
US officials reiterate the need for diplomacy and to refrain from war rhetoric to prevent destabilization, but the DPRK had cut its official communications with the US earlier this month.
Han also said that if the US and South Korea will proceed with military exercises next month, which it claims to be aggressive and designed to invade North Korea, a military showdown is to be expected. It also shifts the blame for the tensions back to the United States.
Han said. “It is not us, it is the United States that first developed nuclear weapons, who first deployed them and who first used them against humankind. And on the issue of missiles and rockets, which are to deliver nuclear warheads and conventional weapons warheads, it is none other than the United States who first developed it and who first used it.”
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