North Korea threatened Saturday to step up its nuclear weapons
production in response to the new sanctions imposed by the United
Nations Security Council.
The statement by North Korea's Foreign Ministry, carried by official
media, also warned that Pyongyang will respond with military action to
any attempt to blockade its ships.
Under the increased sanctions, U.N. member states have the authority to
inspect all cargo heading to or from North Korea for material related
to the country's nuclear and missile programs. The resolution adopted
Friday also bans weapons exports from the North and tightens financial
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday said the sanctions
provide the tools needed "to take appropriate action" against the
Clinton spoke at a news conference at Niagara Falls, Ontario, with Canada's foreign minister (Lawrence Cannon).
She described Pyongyang's continued provocative actions as regrettable
and that it is not in North Korea's interest to continue its isolation.
The Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang said the North has already achieved
progress in uranium enrichment technology and has moved on to
experiments. This is the first time the secretive regime has made such
an admission. In the statement, Pyongyang also threatened to weaponize
all the plutonium in its possession.
Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst for the International Crisis
Group, expressed concern that North Korea has help from partners, such
The 15-member Security Council, including North Korea's allies Russia
and China, voted unanimously Friday to impose tougher sanctions on the
communist country for its nuclear weapon and missile tests last month.
Finance ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations say they
are committed to "effective and timely" implementation of financial
measures against North Korea set out in the U.N. resolution. The
ministers (of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Britain and the United States) made a joint statement Saturday, after a two-day meeting in Italy.