North Korea says United Nations sanctions are an 'act of war'

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"If the USA wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards the DPRK and learn to co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons and should wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons which we have developed and completed through all kinds of hardships", said the statement on Sunday, published by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea has repeatedly defied Security Council resolutions to halt its nuclear weapons and missile testing.

"North Korea may continue to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities while searching for an outlet externally", the ministry said in its predictions for North Korea in 2018.

The third raft of sanctions imposed on the North this year, sparked by last month's ICBM test, also received the backing of China - the North's sole major ally and economic lifeline.

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North Korea says United Nations sanctions are an 'act of war'

"We define this "sanctions resolution" rigged up by the USA and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region and categorically reject the 'resolution, '" North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the resolution appropriately strengthened the sanctions but was not created to affect ordinary people, normal economic exchanges and cooperation, or humanitarian aid.

This image, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The Chinese customs authorities reported Saturday that trade between China and North Korea, very limited due to the sanctions, reached $388 million in November, which is 15.9 percent more than in October but around 36 percent less year-on-year.

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North Korea's Foreign Minister says countries that support imposing new sanctions on his country will "face the consequences".

USA diplomats have made clear they are seeking a diplomatic solution but proposed the new, tougher sanctions resolution to ratchet up pressure on North Korea's leader.

The ministry also projected that the North will exert active efforts to respond to the effects of global sanctions which are expected to start to show next year.

"The U.S. should not forget even a second the entity of the DPRK which rapidly emerged as a strategic state capable of posing a substantial nuclear threat to the U.S. mainland", it added.

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Hua noted it also called for the use of peaceful means to resolve the issue and that all sides should take steps to reduce tension.

"The difference between the new resolution and the original US proposal reflects the will of China and Russian Federation to prevent war and chaos on the Korean Peninsula".

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