N.Korea pledges "righteous" action after new UN sanctions

This July 28, 2017, file photo distributed by the North Korean government on July 29, 2017 shows what was said to be the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (EPA photo)

MANILA -- North Korea denounced Monday the latest UN sanctions imposed after its tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month and pledged to take "righteous action".

In its first official reaction to the sanctions, approved over the weekend by the Security Council, North Korea said the US-led additional measures are "a violent infringement of our sovereignty" and that they will be categorically rejected.

A government statement, carried by North Korea's official news agency, threatened the United States with possible countermeasures and criticized all countries that voted in favour of rolling out the sanctions as being worthy of blame, without naming any country specifically.

While the statement did not elaborate on what North Korea means by "righteous action", the veiled vow of retaliation indicates that Pyongyang has no plans to stop carrying out nuclear or missile tests in the immediate future.

On Saturday, the 15-member Security Council, including China and Russia, unanimously approved imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea to slash its $3 billion in annual exports by a third.

The punitive measures, including a ban on all exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, were formulated in response to North Korea's two ICBM tests in July.

North Korea claims to have improved its capability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland through those tests.

The US-drafted scheme also aims to disallow UN member countries from increasing the number of North Korean labourers working abroad.

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