Saturday 3 December 2016

North Korea feeling pain of economic sanctions

Julian Ryall in Sydney

Published 05/04/2016 | 02:30

Kim Jong-un: threats to US
Kim Jong-un: threats to US

NORTH Korea has accused the United States of subjecting it to a siege similar to the encirclement of Leningrad in World War Two.

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A statement issued by the country's National Defence Commission described the sanctions imposed on Pyongyang after it conducted a fourth underground nuclear test in January and launched a rocket the following month as "anachronistic and suicidal".

In the statement, a spokesman for the commission said the sanctions were the product of a plot by the US and "other hostile forces" and were reminiscent of Washington's machinations against Cuba during the Cold War missile crisis.

"The Leningrad blockade, which struck terror into the hearts of people, and the Caribbean crisis in the Cold War era can hardly stand comparison with the situation", it added.

Well over a million civilians died in the 872-day Nazi siege of Leningrad, either of starvation or illness or during attempts to evacuate the city.

The latest sanctions have targeted Pyongyang's insurance company, which has its European headquarters in London and is charged with "generating substantial foreign exchange revenue which could contribute to the DPRK's nuclear-related ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction programmes", the European Union said in a statement.

The regime of Kim Jong-un appears to be resisting the growing international pressure, however, and has threatened to strike back.

It has stepped up propaganda attacks in recent weeks, in spite of Washington's suggestion that it would be helpful if Pyongyang toned the rhetoric down.

The North has gone so far as to warn that Washington's "aggression" has "created the worst crisis, in which (North Korea) may make a retaliatory nuclear strike at the US mainland at any moment".

The latest threats come just days after an article in DPRK Today claimed that North Korea's assault on the US would be far more devastating than the September 11 terrorist attacks by al-Qa'ida.

Irish Independent

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