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(LEAD) N. Korea urges U.N. members to reconsider sanctions on Pyongyang

2017/05/13 20:49

(ATTN: CHANGES dateline; UPDATES with additional details of the North Korean statement, more information in paras 3-4, 9-14; RESTRUCTURES)

NEW YORK/SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's mission to the United Nations on Friday appealed to U.N. member states to reconsider implementing sanctions on the communist regime.

In a press statement, the North's mission also accused the United States of trying to intimidate countries into fully implementing U.N. sanctions by "openly threatening that they would be faced with 'strong measures of sanction' by the U.S."

   "The U.S. raises its voice before the member states, claiming that many countries are not fully engaged in implementation of the 'sanction resolutions' against the DPRK and even intimidating others into the implementation, openly threatening that member nations would be faced with 'strong measures of sanction' if they do not implement or show less interest in fulfilling their obligation to implement the 'sanction resolutions,'" the statement, carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, said in English.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The statement came after the U.N. Security Council's panel of experts on North Korea sanctions urged U.N. members to strengthen enforcement of the sanctions adopted in the Security Council Resolutions 2270 and 2321.

The administration of President Donald Trump has been stepping up its pressure campaign against the North while urging China, the North's main benefactor, to use more of its influence to rein in the provocative regime.

Last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson chaired a special ministerial session of the U.N. Security Council and urged U.N. members to suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with the North and cut off trade ties supporting Pyongyang's illicit activities.

The North's mission claimed that it's nonsense to sanction restaurant businesses run by the North, arguing that such sanctions amount to viewing ordinary restaurants as plants of nuclear weapons and missiles

"It will be only a laughing stock of the international community that with hysteria about sanctions, the U.S. has mistaken even ordinary restaurants run by the DPRK abroad for nuke or ballistic rocket manufacturers," the statement said.

North Korean restaurants in other countries are not directly subject to U.N. sanctions but are often considered a major source of hard currency for the reclusive North.

Seoul has advised its people to refrain from visiting North Korean restaurants while abroad, apparently believing the money paid to them could be funneled into the impoverished North's weapons and nuclear programs.

Pyongyang apparently sought to place its people as a human shield against the U.N. sanctions, claiming the sanctions were only making its people suffer.

"The DPRK government determines such crazy hostile acts being committed by the U.S. and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) on the DPRK under the pretext of sanctions as a heinous crime against humanity aimed to trample down the sovereignty of the DPRK and its people's right to existence and thus pull the country back into the life of dark age," the statement said.

"(North Korea), therefore, totally rejects such kinds of 'resolutions.'"