North Korea calls latest United Nations sanctions 'an act of war'

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon speaks at a Cabinet meeting in Seoul South Korea 26 December 2017

North Korea said those who voted for the sanctions would face its wrath.

The resolution adopted by the Security Council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea's refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country.

Tension has been rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of years of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House.

"Today's resolution exemplifies the serious, collective will of the global community that we will continue to put maximum pressure on North Korea until it shows seriousness and takes concrete actions toward the goal of denuclearization", Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho said in his remarks following the vote.

"There is no more fatal blunder than the miscalculation that the U.S. and its followers could check by already worn-out "sanctions" the victorious advance of our people who have brilliantly accomplished the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force", the ministry said.

The resolution drew criticism from Russian Federation for the short time the Security Council nations had to consider the draft, and last-minute changes to the text.

While denouncing North Korea's "unacceptable" nuclear and missile programs as well as the "tremendous risks" posed by its unannounced launches, Safronkov urged the "establishment of an atmosphere of trust among states in the region" through the de-escalation of military activity by multiple parties. "Isolation and pressure must give way to dialogue and talks".

China, with which North Korea does some 90 percent of its trade, has repeatedly called for calm and restraint from all sides. The resolution was drafted by the United States and negotiated with the North's closest ally, China.

The ministry said that Pyongyang could also seek to improve its ties with South Korea.

The United States and China will jointly monitor the implementation of sanctions on North Korea, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported, citing us officials. "The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we're serious", one of the Telegraph's sources, a former security official, said.

To be prohibited similarly are exports to North Korea of industrial equipment, machinery, transportation vehicles and industrial metals.

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