In a routine that should feel very familiar to anyone who follows world news, North Korea unleashed a tirade of threats and invectives against the United States in the wake of strict new sanctions that were put into place after a unanimous U.N. Security Council vote on Saturday.
The Trump administration led the charge for heaping heavier sanctions onto North Korea after it refused to taper down its displays of aggression in the region, which have included a variety of short- and long-range missile tests. Pyongyang responded in kind.
“The U.S.’s villainous illegal actions against our country and people will be reciprocated by thousands fold,” Kim Jong Un’s regime threatened via the country’s state-run KCNA news agency.
“The U.S., which once placed our land in a sea of blood and fire during a dreadful war, is now madly attempting to remove our foundation and structure,” the ominous message continued. “If it thinks that it will be safe because it is across an ocean, there is no bigger misunderstanding than that.”
Pyongyang continued its menacing rhetoric during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Manila on Monday, where North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho sent a spokesman to a press conference to insist that North Korea would never reduce its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Reassuring ASEAN members that North Korea would not drop a nuclear bomb on any country “except the U.S.,” Ri claimed that Pyongyang is getting ready to “teach the U.S. a severe lesson with its strategic nuclear force.”
While North Korea has channeled its anger over the sanctions exclusively toward the United States, it is China’s support for the new sanctions that could prove most problematic for Pyongyang.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned his North Korean counterpart during the ASEAN conference, “Do not violate the UN’s decision or provoke the international community’s goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests,” a departure from China’s hands-off approach to the Kim regime’s affairs.