As South Korea lauded the fresh U.S. sanctions signed Wednesday against North Korea, the Kim Jong Un regime released a new statement slamming South Korean president Park Geun-hye. The latest round of sanctions approved by Washington comes after Pyongyang threatened to launch a pre-emptive strike after its nuclear test in January, followed by a rocket launch in February.
Wednesday’s U.S. sanctions against North Korea tightened the already existing ones in order to further isolate the country. They include freezing of any North Korean property in the U.S. and banning export of goods from the U.S. to the reclusive country. The sanctions also allow the U.S. government to blacklist any individuals dealing with major sectors of the North Korean economy, whether they are U.S. citizens or not. The latest order carries out the recently implemented sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and Washington’s own.
“The government welcomes the U.S. government's announcement Thursday of a new executive order for the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2270 and the U.S. sanctions bill on North Korea,” Seoul's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday, according to Yonhap, adding: “The executive order demonstrates the U.S.'s strong resolve to respond to North Korea's repeated provocations, including nuclear tests and missile launches.”
The South Korean foreign ministry also said that the executive order, signed by U.S. President Barack Obama “is expected to greatly contribute to the mutual reinforcement of the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution, which we are pushing for through close coordination with the U.S. bilateral sanctions and actions taken by the international community against the North.”
North Korea released a statement through its official KCNA, according to KCNA Watch, slamming Park, and called her a “bloodthirsty dictator” who threw the people's lives into destitution. The report by KCNA cited a White Paper released Wednesday by National Reunification Institute that allegedly reflected the “hatred of the South Korean people and the international community's denunciation” of Park.
The report said, according to KCNA, “The anger and resentment of all the Koreans at Park have reached an extreme phase as she has pushed the north-south relations to the worst catastrophe and is working hard to bring a nuclear disaster to the nation, hell-bent on escalating the confrontation with the compatriots in the north,” adding: “They are terming Park a mad woman infected with all foul diseases.”
The White Paper went on to say: “There is no such a despicable human being in the world as Park Geun-hye who is cursed and criticized at home and abroad,” adding: “Only hell awaits her as she is more dead than alive, being forsaken by the people.”
North Korea also announced the sentencing of detained U.S. college student Otto Warmbier to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal a propaganda poster. The White House urged Pyongyang to release him and said that the country is using U.S. citizens as “pawns to pursue a political agenda.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing Wednesday, according to Yonhap: “Now that Mr. Warmbier has gone through this criminal process, we strongly urge the North Korean government to pardon him and grant him special amnesty and immediate release,” adding: “Despite official claims that U.S. citizens arrested in North Korea are not used for political purposes, it is increasingly clear that the North Korean government seeks to use these U.S. citizens as pawns to pursue a political agenda.”
He went on to caution U.S. citizens against travelling to North Korea, which also threatened to launch a pre-emptive attack if it sees any hints that South Korean and U.S. troops involved in the annual military drills are planning to invade.