North Korea responded Wednesday to new U.N. economic sanctions, saying it would oppose the “suffocating” measures and defend itself against U.S. forces, Reuters reports.
The country’s Foreign Ministry said the U.N. resolution is aimed at “completely suffocating its state and people through full-scale economic blockade.”
The sanctions were approved unanimously by the U.N. Security Council on Monday. They ban North Korea’s textile exports and restrict oil imports as punishment for its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in August; the regime said the explosion was a hydrogen bomb.
“The DPRK will redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and right to existence and to preserve peace and security of the region by establishing the practical equilibrium with the U.S.,” it said in the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Led by U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, the sanctions push originally called for a complete ban of oil imports into North Korea and the freezing of leader Kim Jong Un’s foreign assets.
China and Russia, two historic allies of North Korea who both hold veto power on the security council, opposed the more severe measures.
The U.N. approved other sanctions in August aimed crippling the North Korean economy by slashing a third of its $3 billion in annual exports.
President Trump praised the new sanctions, but said they were only one step toward denuclearizing North Korea.
North Korea has launched more missiles under the leadership of Kim Jong Un than under previous leaders, with 21 missile tests in 2017 so far.