North Korea has threatened “catastrophic consequences” for the U.S. and other Western powers, in the wake of a U.N. resolution condemning the country's human rights abuses.
A resolution introduced by the E.U. and Japan, calling for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court to face possible charges of “crimes against humanity" passed the General Assembly human rights committee by 111 to 19 with 55 abstentions last week.
North Korea's National Defense Commission (NDC), chaired by Kim, said Sunday that the bill amounted to a "war declaration," adding “The US and its followers will be wholly accountable for the unimaginable and catastrophic consequences to be entailed by the frantic 'human rights' racket against [North Korea]," it said, according to AFP.
In addition, North Korea newspaper the Rodong Sinmun, said that the UN resolution was the “product of the anti-North Korea plot," adding that it was a U.S. backed effort "in a bid to invent a pretext for starting an invasion."
"The war deterrence of the DPRK will be bolstered up unlimitedly to cope with the U.S. invasion of the country," the paper said, adding the U.S. "will be held wholly responsible for all the consequences to be entailed by its adoption," according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
In addition, since the passage of the resolution, which is a non-binding recommendation to the Security Council, the reclusive Stalinist state has threatened to conduct another nuclear test. China and Russia, who both hold the power of veto on the Security Council, are expected to veto the resolution.
In the run-up to the vote, North Korea had attempted to water down the resolution, specifically removing the threat of the country and its leader, Kim Jong Un, being referred to the ICC. Using Cuban diplomatic proxies the country had attempted to win support in the UN for its position, but the effort fell flat.
Experts cited by the Associated Press speculated that a new nuclear test from North Korea was unlikely, as it would hamper the country's attempts to win foreign direct investment and prompt further international isolation.