DPRK warns over sanctions

CNC report from Pyongyang
Added On January 26, 2013

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has vowed to take "strong physical countermeasures" if South Korea is directly involved in UN sanctions.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution earlier this week over Pyongyang's rocket launch last month and imposed expanded sanctions.

But the DPRK says if Seoul takes further restrictive measures, it would be seen as "a declaration of war" against Pyongyang.

The DPRK on Friday annulled a joint declaration on denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula adopted in 1992.

It says as long as South Korea continues to pursue a hostile policy, the DPRK will never negotiate with anyone.

It says the government would react to provocation with immediate retaliatory blows and a war of justice for national reunification.

The remarks came three days after the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution, following Pyongyang's controversial satellite launch last month.

The resolution requires Pyongyang not to use ballistic missile technology for any launch, but also advocated a renewal of the six-party talks over the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization.

The DPRK successfully put a satellite into space in mid-December, using a three-stage rocket.

The U.S. and its allies believe the launch was aimed at testing missile technology, but Pyongyang said it's only for peaceful scientific purposes.

Following the UN resolution, the U.S. and South Korea both pledged to implement provisions of the document.

But Pyongyang has rejected the resolution.

It says the six-party talks are rendered null and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was "put to an end".

On Thursday, it vowed to conduct more rocket launches and a higher-level nuclear test targeting its "sworn enemy" -- the United States.

The move has drawn fresh warnings from the U.S.

"It will be a mistake and a missed opportunity if they were to do it. This is not a moment to increase tensions on the Korean peninsula. This is a moment to cease the opportunity that has been out there with the new government in Seoul (and) with the renewed mandate of the president of the United States."

The U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the U.S. is "fully prepared" to deal with any kind of provocation.

The U.S. also expanded its financial sanctions on several entities and individuals in the DPRK.

SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL O'HANLON,  Brookings Institution:
"The message should be, in my opinion, that the ICBM launch that we saw a few weeks ago was highly regrettable and something we needed to respond to, but also something we can live with, but a nuclear test is not something we can live with."

Pyongyang's move also draws condemnation from South Korea.

SOUNDBITE (KOREAN) CHO TAE-YOUNG, South Korean Foreign Ministry:
"Our government strongly urges Pyongyang to listen to constant warnings from the international community and not to make any further provocations, including a nuclear test."

China, meanwhile, calls for calmness and restraint.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) HONG LEI, Chinese Foreign Ministry:
"We hope all the relevant parties will keep calm and act and speak in a cautious and prudent way and not take any steps which may further worsen the situation."

Russia says it regrets that Pyongyang refuses to resume the six-party talks.

Moscow says it will maintain contact with Pyongyang and call for continuing the negotiating process on all other international platforms.