Friday, 12 May 2017

North Korea’s Letter to Congress Says Pyongyang to Speed Up Nuke Program in Response to Sanctions

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The Foreign Affairs Committee of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 12 that denounced the May 4 House vote to impose new sanctions on the communist state. The North Koreans threatened to step up the pace “to strengthen nuclear deterrents” in response to the increased sanctions.

“The U.S. House of Representatives should think twice,” the committee wrote in its letter, a copy of which was published by the KCNA state news agency. “As the U.S. House of Representatives enacts more and more of these reckless hostile laws, the DPRK’s efforts to strengthen nuclear deterrents will gather greater pace, beyond anyone's imagination,” the committee wrote. (DPRK are the initials for the communist state’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The committee denounced the sanctions as “the most heinous act against humanity that not only infringes upon the sacred sovereignty of [North Korea] but also arbitrarily violates universal principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries which run through the United Nations Charter.” 

North Korea and the United States do not have formal diplomatic relations or official channels of communication, therefore, it was not known how the letter was sent to Congress.

The measure to which the North Koreans objected, which was approved by the House on a 419-1 vote, targeted North Korea’s shipping industry and condemned the regime’s use of slave labor. Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who scored 100 percent on the most recent “Freedom Index” compiled by The New American, was the sole member to vote against the measure. The measure (H.R. 1644) has been sent to the Senate. Before any sanctions can be implemented, the Senate and President Trump must also to approve them. This point was apparently lost on North Korea’s leadership.

A Fox News report noted that the bill bars ships owned by North Korea, or by countries that refuse to comply with UN resolutions against Pyongyang, from operating in American waters or docking at U.S. ports. Goods produced by North Korea’s forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the legislation.

Photo of North Korea's parliament: Roman Harak via Wikipedia

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