N. Korea slams new UN sanctions as an "act of war": state media

Seoul (AFP) –


North Korea on Sunday slammed the latest UN sanctions imposed on it over the isolated country's widely-condemned intercontinental ballistic missile tests, describing the move as an "act of war".

"We fully reject the latest UN sanctions... as a violent breach of our republic's sovereignty and an act of war that destroys the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and a wider region," Pyongyang's foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.

It was the first official reaction from Pyongyang, a day after the UN Security Council unanimously passed new, US-drafted sanctions that will restrict oil supplies vital for the impoverished state.

The sanctions received the backing of Pyongyang's key ally China and also orders the repatriation of North Korean workers sent abroad to earn much needed revenue for Kim Jong-Un's regime.

The third raft of sanctions imposed on the North this year came about three weeks after Pyongyang test-fired its longest-range ICBM, which it said was capable of striking all major US cities.

The test of Hwasong-15 further heightened global concerns over the rapid advance in the North's missile and nuclear weapon programmes that has accelerated since Kim took power in 2011.

The North says its weapons programmes are designed for self-defense against "hostile" US policies towards the isolated but nuclear-armed nation.