North Korea slams ‘Obama and his lackeys’ in furious response to sanctions

North Korea has furiously rejected United Nations sanctions, accusing Security Council members of being puppets of the United States.

The defiant statement Thursday came as both South Korea and Japan announced further restrictions on the state, including on visits by foreign missile and nuclear experts.

The Security Council voted unanimously on November 30 to impose their “toughest” sanctions yet on North Korea, stopping about $800 million in exports including coal and copper.

The new restrictions came in response to North Korea’s nuclear warhead test in September, its fifth and potentially most powerful yet.

In the statement, North Korea said many countries that are members of the United Nations Security Council had already conducted their own nuclear tests and missile launches.

“Obama and his lackeys are sadly mistaken if they calculate that they can force the DPRK to abandon its line of nuclear weaponization and undermine its status as a nuclear power through base sanctions to pressurize it,” the statement read.

North Korea officials blacklisted

In addition to a new crackdown on exports, South Korea said it would block entry to North Korea for all foreign missile and nuclear experts if their work threatened the South.

Senior North Korean officials will also be blacklisted as part of the new embargo, the South Korean statement said.

“We have expanded the number of those subject to sanctions by adding to the list 35 entities and 36 individuals that are playing a critical role in developing weapons of mass destruction and contributing to the North Korean regime’s efforts to secure foreign currency,” Government Policy Coordination Minister Lee Suk-Joon said at a press conference.

On Friday, the Japanese government confirmed they would adopt similar measures to South Korea, while also prohibiting entry to Japanese vessels that had docked in North Korea.

In a National Security Council meeting on December 2, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government had decided to tighten sanctions due to North Korea’s repeated nuclear tests and abduction of foreign nationals.

Sanctions ‘counterproductive and dangerous’

The United Nations Security Council already imposed one set of sanctions on North Korea in 2016, also in response to a nuclear test by the rogue state in January.

Wednesday’s sanctions aimed to cut off North Korea’s supply of cash to continue their missile programs, cutting exports of coal, nonferrous metals and statues.

“Today’s resolution includes the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions regime ever imposed by the Security Council,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a speech on Wednesday.

But in a piece written for CNN, John Delury, an associate professor of international studies, at Yonsei University in Seoul, said strict sanctions were “counterproductive and dangerous,” advocating instead for engaging with the country.

“‘Comprehensive’ sanctions send North Korea deeper into isolation and increase the risks of a war that no one wants, a war that could be truly catastrophic,” he wrote.