(Reuters via CNBC and CNN) – North Korea warned today (Sept. 11) the United States would pay a “due price” for spearheading a UN Security Council resolution against its latest nuclear test, as Washington presses for a vote on a draft resolution imposing more sanctions on Pyongyang.
South Korean officials have said after the North’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb, that it could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile in defiance of international pressure.
The United States wants the Security Council to impose an oil embargo on the North, halt its key export of textiles and subject leader Kim Jong Un to financial and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters.
The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United States was “going frantic” to manipulate the Security Council over Pyongyang’s nuclear test, which it said was part of “legitimate self-defensive measures.”
“In case the US eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful ‘resolution’ on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the US pays due price,” the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
DPRK is short for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The world will witness how the DPRK tames the US gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged,” the unnamed spokesman said.
“The DPRK has developed and perfected the super-powerful thermo-nuclear weapon as a means to deter the ever-increasing hostile moves and nuclear threat of the US and defuse the danger of nuclear war looming over the Korean peninsula and the region.”
There was no independent verification of the North’s claim to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test, but some experts said there was enough strong evidence to suggest Pyongyang had either developed a hydrogen bomb or was getting close.
KCNA said on Sunday that Kim threw a banquet to laud the scientists and top military and party officials who contributed to the nuclear bomb test, topped with an art performance and a photo session with the leader himself.
Meanwhile CNN said Sen. John McCain called for the United States to step up its presence around North Korea and make clear to its leader, Kim Jong Un, that aggressive acts would lead to the annihilation of his country.
Washington needs to “make sure that Kim Jong Un knows that if he acts in an aggressive fashion, the price will be extinction,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Arizona Republican called for a strategy on North Korea that involved increasing missile defense and other defensive capabilities in South Korea, doing more to pressure China, and considering the deployment of nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula. McCain’s remarks came in his first nationally televised interview since being diagnosed with brain cancer in July.
“The Korean defense minister just a few days ago called for nuclear weapons to be redeployed,” McCain told anchor Jake Tapper, adding he thought “it ought to be seriously considered.”
He said China was not doing enough to curtail its support of North Korea and that the US should use economic leverage to influence Beijing.
“I also think that we’ve got to tell the Chinese, it will hurt the United States if we lose some trade with you, but I’m telling you now, something is going to have to change,” McCain said.
Top: This undated picture released by North Korean state media shows their leader Kim Jong Un visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science. Photo: CNN