The United Nations Security Council slapped new sanctions on North Korea yesterday in the backdrop of its recent ballistic missile tests.
The 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted a new set of U.S.-drafted sanctions on the reclusive country that will further strangle its energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas, reported The Guardian.
The latest penalties seek to halt nearly 90 percent of the country's refined petroleum imports and limit crude oil supplies to 4 million barrels a year.
The resolution also ordered North Koreans who work abroad to return to the country within 24 months.
In addition to this, the resolution also bans exports of industrial equipment, machinery, transportation vehicles and industrial metals to the communist-ruled country.
In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea's foreign ministry said: "The U.S. is terrified by our nuclear force and is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country".
"We define this 'sanctions resolution' rigged up by the U.S. and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region, and categorically reject the 'resolution'," the ministry said.
North Korea has also argued that the nuclear weapon tests are a self-defensive deterrence, not in contradiction of international law. It also warned other countries that those who would support the sanctions would pay a 'heavy price'.