North Koreaâs foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, echoed the hostility later in a statement at an annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila that also was attended by Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.
Mr. Ri described North Koreaâs missiles and nuclear weapons as defensive measures against what he called the threat of annihilation by the United States.
âNeither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S. against the DPRK are fundamentally eliminated,â Mr. Ri said, using the initials for the Democratic Peopleâs Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.
In order to thwart a United States invasion, Mr. Ri said, âwe need to possess intercontinental attack capabilities to strike the heart of the U.S.â
He also said North Koreaâs intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month showed that âthe entire U.S. mainland is in our firing range.â
The countryâs United Nations mission also issued a lengthy statement denouncing the sanctions, which were meant to dissuade North Korea from pressing ahead with its missile and nuclear weapons programs.
The statement called the sanctions, which include prohibitions on North Korean exports of coal, iron and seafood, âa flagrant infringement upon its sovereignty.â
The response came two days after the Security Council approved the measures in a 15-0 vote that basically left Mr. Kim bereft of any powerful supporter on the issue, including China, which helped the United States draft the new penalties.
If enforced, the measures could lop an estimated $1 billion annually off North Koreaâs…