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(LEAD) N. Korea warns U.S. of 'greatest pain' over U.N. sanctions drive

2017/09/11 10:54

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(ATTN: ADDS reaction from S. Korea in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea warned Monday that the United States will suffer the "greatest pain" if it pushes ahead with new tougher U.N. sanctions over its sixth nuclear test.

Pyongyang's threat comes as the U.S. asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last week to vote on new sanctions Monday in response to the North's most powerful nuclear test.

North Korea's foreign ministry said it will make the U.S. pay a "due price" if Washington goes ahead with the vote on a resolution on harsher sanctions.

"The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK will cause the U.S. the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history," said the Korean Central News Agency, reporting a ministry statement in English.

The DPRK is the acronym for North Korea's full name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

On Sept. 3, North Korea detonated what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb that can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In July, the wayward regime fired ICBMs twice.

Media reports said that the U.S. circulated a draft resolution that includes the suspension of oil supplies to the North, export bans on textiles and labor, and asset freezes on leader Kim Jong-un.

But it is not certain how much China and Russia -- veto-wielding permanent members of the UNSC -- will cooperate in Washington's efforts to slap the toughest sanctions to date on Pyongyang.

North Korea skipped its provocative acts last Saturday, the 69th anniversary of the regime's establishment. Instead, it hailed the latest nuclear test as a "great victory at a celebration banquet.

South Korea's unification ministry said that Pyongyang appeared to focus on bolstering internal solidarity and expressing its will to develop its nuclear force.

As to the North's Monday intimidation, Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman, said at a regular press briefing, "North Korea seems to try to build the case for additional provocations ahead of the UNSC's move."

   He said that Seoul plans to consider whether to impose fresh unilateral sanctions against the North after taking into account the U.N. move.