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North Korea condemnations of U.S., South Korea to surge after sanctions

Pyongyang’s retaliation could come in the form of maritime incursions or increased cyberattacks.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Feb. 26, 2016 at 10:52 PM
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SEOUL, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- North Korea is expected to respond forcefully to a resolution set to pass at the United Nations Security Council, and to the upcoming U.S.-South Korea joint military drills.

Pyongyang has already issued televised warnings against South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the "ruling anti-unification reactionaries" after the shutdown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a jointly operated factory park.

The North's condemnations of the United States and South Korea are expected to crescendo – the latest round of sanctions that could hit the country are powerful and comprehensive, and designed to encircle its army, navy and air force in a multilateral blockade.

North Korea could also come under another source of undue pressure, when the United States and South Korea start the joint annual military exercise known as Key Resolve on March 7. The exercise is to include more than 90,000 South Korean and 15,000 U.S. troops.

North Korea's state-controlled channel KCTV has previously said the exercises are the "most cruel and evil act" which aims to "destroy North Korean homes and lives." Its enemies would pay a price, the North has said.

Pyongyang's retaliation could come in the form of maritime incursions across the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea, or increased cyberattacks, Yonhap reported.

North Korea could also test a fifth nuclear weapon, or announce plans to test-launch a submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM.

The country is already preparing for the Seventh Congress of its ruling Workers' Party, and according to KCNA, the Party's Central Military Commission and other task forces have declared a 70-day "battle" or mass rally across the country.

Large groups of state workers, students, farmers, and government officers are expected to be participating, South Korean news service CBS No Cut News reported.

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