North Korea has signaled it may reverse some concessions made to the United States after President Biden hit the hermit kingdom with new sanctions.
In recent weeks, the isolated nation has stepped up its weapons testing, including the testing of supposedly hypersonic weapons such as glider vehicles. The Biden administration has hit five North Korean officials with sanctions in connection with the testing.
The sixth meeting of the Central Committee’s Political Bureau was held this week, attended by party general secretary Kim Jong Un. The Politburo discussed a number of “confidence-building measures”, one of which could be to reverse a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile testing in response to sanctions.
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“He’s not saying all bets are off, but it’s a strong indicator that they’re headed” for further testing, Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told NK News.
KCNA Watch translated state media reports that the Politburo explained how the United States had “violently insulted” North Korea and “committed the senseless act of taking more than 20 independent sanctions measures.”
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North Korean officials say the US ‘has reached a danger line that can no longer be ignored’ and the nation must consider ‘practical actions’ to defend its ‘dignity, sovereign rights and interests’ .
The United States has hit individuals in Russia and China with sanctions for their role in supplying equipment and assisting in the development of technology for recently tested hypersonic weapons.
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The sanctions will freeze all assets the five officials hold in US jurisdictions and prevent any Americans from doing business with them. Any foreign company or person who does business with the officials may also face sanctions.
“The DPRK’s latest missile launches are further proof that it continues to advance banned programs despite international calls for diplomacy and denuclearization,” said the DPRK’s terrorism and financial intelligence chief. Treasure, Brian Nelson.
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North Korea had previously agreed to a number of concessions under the Trump administration, including a declaration of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula without outlining when or how that would happen.
Kim unilaterally suspended nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile testing in talks with Washington and Seoul, but continued a series of short-range missile tests during that time.
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.