Despite condemnations and expanded sanctions from the U.N. Security Council following a December rocket launch, North Korea has vowed to expand its nuclear and military capabilities.
The Security Council expanded existing sanctions against North Korea this week, unanimously passing a resolution proposed by the United States and even backed by North Korean ally China. The resolution tightens sanctions on North Korea’s space agency, a bank and a number of trading companies and individuals in the country.
“This resolution demonstrates to North Korea that there are unanimous and significant consequences for its flagrant violation” of previous resolutions, said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice.
The resolution promises that the U.N. will take significant action against the nation if a third nuclear test is carried out.
The Hermit Kingdom responded swiftly to the new U.N. resolution, vowing that it would not back down from its nuclear ambitions.
“We will take measures to boost and strengthen our defensive military power including nuclear deterrence,” its Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.
“There can be talks for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the region in the future, but no talks for the denuclearisation of the peninsula,” the statement went on.
U.S. officials fear that, given the opportunity to test nuclear devices, North Korea will effectively develop a long-range nuclear missile that could potentially strike the West Coast of the United States.