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North Korea threatens South

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un delivers a message in Pyongyang.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un delivers a message in Pyongyang.

SEOUL — North Korea threatened to attack rival South Korea if Seoul joined a new round of tightened UN sanctions, as Washington unveiled more of its own economic restrictions following Pyongyang’s rocket launch last month.

In a third straight day of fiery rhetoric, the North directed its verbal onslaught at its neighbour today, saying: “Sanctions mean a war and a declaration of war against us.”

The reclusive North has this week declared a boycott of all dialogue aimed at ending its nuclear programme and vowed to conduct more rocket and nuclear tests after the UN Security Council censured it for a December long-range missile launch.

“If the puppet group of traitors takes a direct part in the UN sanctions, the DPRK will take strong physical counter-measures against it,” the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said, referring to the South.

The committee is the North’s front for dealings with the South. DPRK is short for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The UN Security Council unanimously condemned North Korea’s December rocket launch on Tuesday and expanded existing UN sanctions.

Yesterday, the United States slapped economic sanctions on two North Korean bank officials and a Hong Kong trading company that it accused of supporting Pyongyang’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. (Reuters)

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