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The Korean Peninsula

North Korea accuses U.S. of 'provocation' amid sanctions

Published : Jan 14, 2022 16:44 IST T+T-
North Korea's foreign ministry has accused the U.S. of 'evident provocation'.

North Korea's foreign ministry has accused the U.S. of 'evident provocation'.

Pyongyang is angered by new U.S. sanctions, which were in response to North Korean missile tests.

North Korea defended its missile tests and said the United States is intentionally escalating the situation by imposing sanctions, North Korean state media reported on January 14. In a statement carried by state news agency KCNA , a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the recent development of weapons did not target any specific country and were just part of North Korea's efforts to modernize its national defense capability.

'An evident provocation and gangster-like logic'

North Korea said the weapons were "hypersonic missiles." North Korea has engaged in a number of missile launches, including two launches that were made since last week. On January 12, the United States imposed sanctions on five North Koreans linked to the country's ballistic missile program in response to the tests. North Korea's foreign ministry said in a statement that the U.S. sanctions show that Washington "is still engrossed in its policy of isolating and stifling" North Korea. "The U.S. accusation of [North Korea]'s legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense is an evident provocation and a gangster-like logic," the statement said.

What did the U.S. say about the launches?

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a January 13 interview with U.S. broadcaster MSNBC that North Korea may be seeking attention with its missile launches. "I think some of this is North Korea trying to get trying to get attention. It's done that in the past; it'll probably continue to do that," Blinken said. Blinken called the missile tests "profoundly destabilizing," and added that "it's dangerous, and it contravenes a whole host of U.N. Security Council Resolutions." Blinken also called for North Korea to sit down for talks and said that the United States had no "hostile intent" toward North Korea.

sdi/wd (AFP, Reuters)