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Sanctions blocking frozen chicken and swimming flippers, claims North Korea

North Korea has lashed out at international sanctions against its nuclear and missile programmes, saying they are being used to block everything from frozen chicken to swimming flippers.

In an unusually detailed and lengthy statement, the Foreign Ministry stuck by its long-standing claim that the country has the right to develop nuclear weapons to defend itself against the US, which it said under President Donald Trump is openly trying to "suffocate" its economy.

It added that if testing or possessing nuclear weapons are sanctioned, then the US and other nuclear superpowers should be subject to sanctions as well.

The statement included a long list of non-military-use items it says have been impacted by the trade bans, including frozen chicken, diving flippers for a dolphin show, and an array of sports equipment including skis, yachts, mountaineering boots, snowmobiles, snow groomers, billiard tables, archery equipment and sporting guns.

"Archery equipment would never become ballistic rockets and sports rifles could never be used to launch nuclear warheads, but some countries either being overpowered by or blindly following the high-handed practices of the hostile forces are bringing disgrace to the ideal and purpose of sports," the statement said.

It said public health and humanitarian assistance have been affected as well.

The statement directly criticised efforts by Mr Trump to tighten pressure on Pyongyang, saying Washington and its supporters are trying to "completely suffocate" the country's economy and "impoverish the people's livelihood".

North Korea has been concerned by the Trump administration and the possibility of tougher policies than those carried out by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Following a series of high-profile North Korean missile tests, the US earlier this month led an effort at the UN to pass a resolution adding more individuals and entities linked to nuclear and missile programmes to a sanctions blacklist.

The resolution expressed serious concern that North Korea continues to violate previous UN resolutions with launches and attempted launches of ballistic missiles, and that its nuclear and missile activities threaten international peace and security.

The Security Council has repeatedly demanded that North Korea abandon all nuclear weapons programmes and halt all nuclear and missile tests.

The Security Council had already imposed six rounds of sanctions on North Korea.



From Belfast Telegraph