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Kim Jong Un visits munitions factory ahead of U.N. sanctions

North Korea has previously issued statements condemning the pending sanctions.

By Elizabeth Shim
Kim Jong Un visited a munitions factory in North Korea Wednesday, the same plant he and his father visited prior to Kim Jong Il’s death in December 2011. Shown here is Kim Jong-un saluting his father during his state funeral in Pyongyang. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Kim Jong Un visited a munitions factory in North Korea Wednesday, the same plant he and his father visited prior to Kim Jong Il’s death in December 2011. Shown here is Kim Jong-un saluting his father during his state funeral in Pyongyang. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, March 2 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un visited a factory that has been connected to Pyongyang's missile production Wednesday ahead of a vote at the United Nations Security Council that could lead to the toughest resolution yet against North Korea.

State-controlled news agency KCNA reported Kim provided field guidance at Taesung Machine Factory, a munitions factory that experts have said is the main production base for Pyongyang's missiles.

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The factory was also one of the last sites the late Kim Jong Il visited with his son before his death in December 2011, South Korean newspaper Hankook Ilbo reported.

During his visit, Kim said it is the Korean Workers' Party's objective to make the factory into a "global state-of-the-art manufacturing base." Kim also called the center North Korea's "pioneering factory," and that the plant should serve as a "new springboard for industrial development," according to Yonhap.

RELATED Russian official says U.N. resolution on North Korea 'necessary'

The visit signaled Kim's defiance in the face of looming sanctions. Pyongyang's closest allies, China and Russia, have turned a corner in recent weeks regarding the need for tougher embargoes.

On Tuesday, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations said the resolution is "necessary" and said it should be adopted soon, a sign that new sanctions should pass unanimously on Wednesday.

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North Korea has previously issued statements condemning the pending sanctions, calling them a "violent infringement on sovereignty."

RELATED South Korea President Park softens stance on North Korea

Pyongyang said its recent satellite launch was a legitimate action and charged the United States of upholding "double standards," according to KCNA.

Critics have said satellite launches are a cover for North Korea's ballistic missile tests.

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