Pyongyang, Dec 10: North Korea on Sunday said that a maritime blockade would be a declaration of war, in reference to one of the new sanctions that the US mentioned it could impose on Pyongyang after its latest ballistic missile launch.
“The US moves for sea blockade can never be tolerated as they constitute a wanton violation of the sovereignty and dignity of an independent state,” an article published in the state-owned Rodong Sinmun daily said.
“The US is trying to openly take the measure of sea blockade against North Korea and strangle its economy in peace time. This is part of its scheme to escalate political and economic blockade against North Korea which has lasted for decades.”
The article said international treaties establish that the economic blockade of a country in times of peace constitutes an illegal act and is considered an invasion, reports Efe news.
The new sanctions promoted by Washington, combined with the joint air drills with South Korea – the largest to date – conducted on the Korean peninsula last week, constitute “hideous war criminal acts” to push the situation to an “uncontrollable” catastrophic phase and to a touch-and-go phase of a war, Pyongyang said.
The article warned US President Donald Trump that “should they show even the slightest movement to put its attempt at sea blockade into practice, it will be followed by an immediate and merciless counteraction for self-defence from the North Korea”.
On November 29, North Korea launched the Hwasong-15, its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile to date, which has put Pyongyang closer to being able to target the continental US.
As a result, Washington has defended imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang, which could include the total prohibition of maritime transport to North Korea, according to US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.