North Korea says new sanctions imposed by United Nations are 'declaration of war'

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Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the resolution appropriately strengthened the sanctions but was not created to affect ordinary people, normal economic exchanges and cooperation, or humanitarian aid.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman defended North Korea's right to possess nuclear weapons as necessary "to defend our sovereignty and rights to existence and development in the face of ever increased hostile moves and nuclear threats and blackmail of the U.S".

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed tough new sanctions on North Korea.

The U.S. -drafted resolution also caps crude oil supplies to North Korea at 4 million barrels a year and commits the Council to further reductions if it were to conduct another nuclear test or launch another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

'There is no more fatal blunder than the miscalculation that the USA and its followers could check by already worn-out "sanctions" the victorious advance of our people who have brilliantly accomplished the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force'.

South Korea's foreign ministry said it is aware of the statement, highlighting its position that they are a "grave warning by the worldwide community that the region has no option but to immediately cease reckless provocations, and take the path of dialogue for denuclearisation and peace".

"If the United States wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards the DPRK and learn to co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons and should wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons which we have developed and completed through all kinds of hardships", said the statement on Sunday, published by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. "The US should not forget even a second the entity of the country which rapidly emerged as a strategic state capable of posing a substantial nuclear threat to the US mainland", it added. Citing unnamed sources, the daily said there was a dramatic step-up in preparations for a military response to North Korea's missile tests. The monitoring system will seek to make sure China is in fact taking part in the sanctions and that the USA and China military commands have direct communication.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved the sanctions in response to North Korea's latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says can reach anywhere on the USA mainland.

The resolution envisages other restrictions that concern exports of industrial equipment, heavy machinery and transport vehicles to North Korea and imports of North Korean commodities.