DPRK threatens "physical countermeasures"

DPRK threatens "physical countermeasures"

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday threatened "physical countermeasures" against South Korea if it directly takes part in United Nations-led sanctions against Pyongyang.

   The statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency and issued by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, claimed that South Korea played an active part in the passage of the U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Pyongyang for launching a long-range rocket on Dec. 12.

   The resolution passed unanimously by the 15-member council on Wednesday (Korea time) is the fifth to be slapped on Pyongyang for its rocket and nuclear programs since May 1993. It calls for the tightening of existing sanctions, such as imposing travel bans on four individuals and freezing assets belonging to the DPRK's space agency, a bank and four trading companies accused of engaging in arms shipments. It also banned technology developments and the transfer of money that supports such operations.

   "If the South takes direct part in the U.N. sanctions, the DPRK will take strong physical countermeasures against it," it said.

   The DPRK also said that imposing sanctions is tantamount to a declaration of war and it will respond immediately to such provocations with counter strikes. The committee that is one of the main conduits for talks with South Korea claimed that any act of aggression will be met by a grand war of unification, hinting it may take military action against the South.

   The committee, moreover, said that there will be no more inter-Korean talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

   "Now that the South Korean conservative groups are desperately kicking up a racket against the DPRK over its nuclear and rocket issue with the United States, there will be no more discussions on the denuclearization between the North and South in the future," it said.

   It said the 1992 Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is now totally invalid.

   The organization said that as long as the South maintains its anti-North Korea stance there will be no interaction.

   "As long as the South Korean group of traitors persistently pursues a hostile policy toward the DPRK, we will never negotiate with anyone," it stressed.

   The latest remarks by the committee is the third statement issued by Pyongyang since the UNSC passed the resolution.

   The first response was made by the DPRK's foreign ministry just two hours after the international body agreed to penalize the country, while the second came Thursday and was issued by the powerful National Defense Commission. The commission denounced U.N. sanctions and warned future rocket and nuclear tests may directly target the United States.