(CNSNews.com) – Ahead of a possible showdown in the U.N. Security Council over a U.S.-led bid to enact the toughest sanctions yet on North Korea, Kim Jong-un’s regime warned Monday that the U.S. would pay “due price.”
Should the sanctions resolution pass, it said, Pyongyang’s forthcoming measures “will cause the U.S. the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history.”
The characteristically hyperbolic statement from the regime’s foreign ministry likened the U.S. to a “bloodthirsty beast” and said the world will witness how North Korea “tames the U.S. gangsters by taking series of action tougher than they have ever envisaged.”
The U.S. Mission in New York has informed the Security Council it will seek a vote Monday on a draft resolution imposing additional sanctions on the regime, following its test last weekend of what it described as a missile-mountable hydrogen bomb.
The nuclear test, North Korea’s sixth since 2006, came days after the military lobbed a ballistic missile over Japan, and followed its earlier threats to fire missiles towards the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, home to two key military bases.
The foreign ministry painted the new sanctions push as an attempt by Washington to “obliterate” its sovereignty. Rather than learn its lesson after North Korea had “perfected the super-powerful thermo-nuclear weapon” to deter its aggression, it said, the U.S. is using the test as “an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it.”
According to a draft of the new sanctions resolution seen by Reuters earlier, it aims to impose an oil embargo, ban textile exports and the hiring by other countries of North Korean laborers, and target Kim personally with an asset freeze and travel ban.
(Kim is not known to have traveled abroad since succeeding Kim Jong-il. He visited China seven months before his father’s death in late 2012.)
Permanent Security Council members Russia and China supported an earlier sanctions resolution, last month, but are leery of what they see as over-reliance on punitive measures.
China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner. Its foreign ministry spokesman responded vaguely when asked at a press briefing late last week about the likelihood of China supporting an oil embargo against its neighbor.
“We hope the reaction and measure of the Security Council will be conducive to advancing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, upholding peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and promoting the peaceful settlement of the Korean peninsula issue through dialogue and negotiation,” said Geng Shuang.
“Committed to this stance, China will participate in the discussion in the Security Council in a responsible and constructive manner.”
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his South Korean counterpart at a meeting in Vladivostok last week that sanctions against the North were “useless,” the Kremlin reported.
China and Russia are still pushing a “double freeze” proposal, saying that in return for a freeze on North Korean missile launches and nuclear tests, the U.S. should freeze “large-scale” military exercises with South Korea.
Last week U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called for the “strongest possible measures” against Pyongyang, and called the China-Russia proposal “insulting.”
Meanwhile the regime continues to celebrate the nuclear test (and earlier missile launches), and on Saturday Kim hosted a banquet in honor of the scientists and military officials involved in the weapons programs.
A commentary by its Uriminzokkiri propaganda website advised the Trump administration to “have a correct understanding of the actual power of the DPRK.”
“It is a tragedy that the U.S. and its lackeys are still pinning hope on sanctions and military option,” it said.
“But clear is the fact that the more recklessly the U.S. resorts to irrational sanctions, pressure and military threats to the DPRK, the more rapidly the defense capability of Juche Korea will develop beyond the world’s imagination.”
DPRK is the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Stalinist state’s formal name. “Juche” (self-reliance) is its ruling ideology.