North Korea said it sees sanctions imposed by the United States on Kim Jong-un as “declaration of war” by Washington, and warned that it will respond toughly to the “hideous crime”.
“The US dared challenge the dignity of (North Korea) supreme leadership, an act reminiscent of a new-born puppy knowing no fear of a tiger,” Pyongyang said in a statement released by the official KCNA news agency.
“This is the worst hostility and an open declaration of war against (North Korea) as it has gone far beyond the confrontation over the human rights issue,” it said, according to Reuters.
The statement came after the US Treasury Department on Wednesday imposed sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and ten other officials for human rights abuses.
Five government ministries and departments in North Korea were also blacklisted.
The move will affect property and other assets within US jurisdiction.
Following Pyongyang’s belligerent rhetoric, Washington urged the North Korean regime to refrain from statements and actions that raise tensions in the region.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, said he hopes China will urge North Korea to cooperate internationally on human rights, according to a spokesman.
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