U.S President Donald Trump is taking a “big step” toward nuclear war by seeking a naval blockade, North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said Thursday, according to Reuters.
It said the possibility of a naval blockade, a sanction proposed by the U.S. as a response to North Korea’s launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear tests, was a “violation of its sovereignty and dignity” and that it would take “merciless self-defense measures” against the blockade, which it sees as an act of war.
Tensions are running high between North Korea and the West, especially the U.S., after the Communist regime of North Korea launched what was believed to be another intercontinental ballistic missile in late November.
North Korea said at the time that it was capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. It has also claimed that it has been able to attach a nuclear warhead to its missiles, although this has not been independently verified.
The U.S. and Western nations condemned the launch and implemented further sanctions on North Korea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also announced then that a naval blockade could be imposed.
In a statement on November 28, Tillerson said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) “relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them must be reversed.”
“Together the international community must continue to send a unified message to North Korea that the DPRK must abandon its WMD (weapon of mass destruction) programs. All nations must continue strong economic and diplomatic measures,” he said.
In addition to implementing all existing United Nations sanctions, the international community must take additional measures to enhance maritime security, Tillerson added, “including the right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods to and from the DPRK.”
Tillerson’s statement concluded that diplomatic options remained available to North Korea and that the “U.S. remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea.”
KCNA said on Thursday that the regime would fulfill its non-proliferation commitment as a nuclear state.