UNITED NATIONS, United States: North Korea on Friday (Saturday in Manila) accused the United States of using threats and intimidation to force countries at the United Nations to implement sanctions, describing the drive as “hysteric madness.”
The North Korean mission at the United Nations urged UN member-states to “reconsider” applying sanctions adopted by the Security Council, arguing that their legality was questionable.
The statement followed a series of meetings held by the UN sanctions committee with regional groups to encourage countries to step up implementation of two sanctions resolutions adopted last year.
North Korea accused the United States of resorting to “every conceivable scheme” to encourage countries to apply sanctions, “even intimidating others into the implementation, openly threatening that they would be faced with ‘strong measures of sanction’ by the US,” said the statement.
The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on third countries that have business dealings with North Korea that violate restrictions imposed under UN resolutions.
The sanctions committee, led by Italy, has held a series of closed sessions with countries from each regional group at the United Nations to press them to submit reports on how they are implementing the sanctions.
Of the UN’s 193 countries, only 54 have presented reports on the sanctions resolution adopted in November last year and 89 have done so for a previous set of measures decided in March 2016.
The North Korean mission accused the sanctions committee of pushing sanctions against businesses such as North Korean-owned restaurants, arguing this was “expanding the interpretation” of the UN resolutions.
The United States has the “illusion of ordinary business of restaurant management as manufacturing factories for nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles,” said the statement.
Washington and the UN sanctions committee are “making fools (of) themselves before the international community for (their) hysteric madness on ‘sanctions’,” it added.
North Korea has called for an international forum of legal experts to review the UN sanctions.
The Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions on Pyongyang since 2006 to significantly ramp up pressure and deny Kim Jong-Un’s regime the hard currency revenue needed for his military programs.
North Korea is seeking to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the US mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five atomic tests, two of them last year.