U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power urged U.N. member states to strengthen the enforcement of North Korea sanctions this week. Pyongyang condemned the statement on Saturday. File Photo by Eskinder Debebe/UN
SEOUL, July 1 (UPI) -- North Korea issued a sharply worded statement warning heavier sanctions would only lead to the strengthening of its nuclear deterrence.
The message from a Pyongyang foreign ministry spokesman was a response to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, South Korean news service Newsis reported.
Power had said Thursday Pyongyang was "obsessively" pursuing the development of nuclear weapons and urged member states to raise their efforts at enforcement.
In her remarks before the U.N., the ambassador had said the "rigor with which member states implement [North Korea] sanctions" and whether it "matches or exceeds" North Korean attempts to evade them will be the "true measure" of how well the sanctions are enforced.
North Korea condemned the statement on KCNA on Saturday, local time, calling the remarks a "despicable act" that is "ridiculing" the international community.
"The U.N. Security Council's sanctions resolutions are nothing but criminal documents void of all fairness, legality and morality," Pyongyang's foreign ministry spokesman said. "As soon as the United States found the sanctions had no effects, it triggered Japan, South Korea and other follower nations, coaxing them to break off all economic, trade and diplomatic ties."
North Korea also called the belief sanctions could have an effect on Pyongyang's behavior a "complete miscalculation."
Pyongyang test-fired four midrange ballistic missiles into the sea last week and recently said its military is "only waiting for the command to launch," citing U.S. and South Korean military activity near a disputed maritime border.