North Korea sends protest to US Congress over sanctions

Jerome Frank
May 13, 2017

The last time that Han appeared to brief foreign diplomats in Pyongyang was last December, to present North Korea's response to the latest round of United Nations sanctions after the September 2016 nuclear test.

It's not unusual for Pyongyang to condemn Washington's moves to censure it, but direct protests to Congress are exceptionally rare.

Separately, the CIA said on Wednesday it had established a Korea Mission Center to "harness the full resources, capabilities and authorities of the Agency in addressing the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea".

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation this month to tighten sanctions by targeting North Korea's shipping industry and companies that do business it.

As KCNA announced the allegations last week, it also said North Korea was embarking on a campaign to root out suspected foreign agents.

Baer suggested that the USA should leverage China's influence with North Korea and let it rein its nuclear-armed neighbour.

"North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today".

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But he gave no sense of how he would achieve such a goal or exactly what an agreement might look like. We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom, our dignity, and our right to self-determination".

"DIA is clearly hanging its hat on the lack of a flight test, which Kim Jong Un signaled could occur any time this year", Lewis, director of East Asia nonproliferation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, said in an email.

"It will be soon brought to light what kind of crimes the detained had committed", the spokesman said, vowing to "mercilessly punish the criminals".

North Korea's U.N. Mission said the organizers infiltrated "the terrorist" into the DPRK with several pieces of satellite communications equipment so he could be updated "with the operational code of terrorism against the supreme leadership, various terrorist methods of using biochemical substances, ways of bribing and hiring the one who would actually carry out the terrorist act and ways of entering the venue of the event".

Pyongyang has had more than its usual share of criticism for Washington in recent months. This year's wargames were the biggest ever, and reportedly included training for precision strikes and assaults meant to take out Kim Jong Un and his top lieutenants. The talks, which are held intermittently, are an informal opportunity for the two sides to exchange opinions and concerns.

On Iran, whose nuclear ambitions preoccupied Washington under President Barack Obama, Coats said the US sees Tehran maintaining last year's agreement that contains its program in exchange for sanctions relief.

"Though we've seen North Korea accomplish some key milestones in specific short-range systems, important shortfalls remain in the development of longer range missiles", the DIA said. Goods produced by North Korea's forced labour would be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the legislation.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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