Nevin BrownAll materialsOn Friday, North Korea warned the United States that Pyongyang will take a “stronger and certain reaction” after the US implementation of new sanctions following a series of missile launches by the DPRK.The announcement was made by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.”If the US adopts such a confrontational stance, the [DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)] will be forced to take stronger and certain reaction to it,” the statement said.In the address, a spokesperson for North Korea’s foreign ministry defended the recent launches of hypersonic missiles as an “exercise of right to self-defense.”
The announcement comes as North Korea conducted two missile tests this week. The second test, conducted on Tuesday, which according to North Korean state media was attended by the nation’s leader, Kim Jung-un, was of a hypersonic missile.Hypersonic missiles are able to travel at a lower altitude and avoid radar detection.The US responded to the tests by imposing new sanctions on Wednesday. The sanctions targeted six North Koreans, one Russian, and a Russian firm, Parsek LLC, for their roles in helping North Korea acquire the technology and know-how to advance their missile systems.Brian Nelson, US Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said the sanctions are designed to target North Korea’s “continued use of overseas representatives to illegally procure goods for weapons.”Three of the individuals, two North Koreans and one Russian national, are based in Russia, while four are North Koreans based in China.
Questions have been raised as to why no sanctions were brought against companies in China or against Chinese nationals.The US also proposed that the five be blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council.US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington is still committed to diplomacy to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile arsenal.”What we have seen in recent days … only underscores our belief that if we are going to make progress, that we will need to engage in that dialogue,” said Price.