SEOUL — North Korea has threatened the United States “with a hail of bullets and shells on its own territory” if it does not withdraw sanctions, its state news agency reported on Thursday.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order last week authorizing expanded sanctions against North Korea after a hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which Washington blamed on Pyongyang.
North Korea, which has denied it was responsible for the hacking, routinely uses aggressive rhetoric, often warning of war against its sworn enemies the United States and South Korea.
“The U.S. should roll back its hostile policy towards the DPRK of its own accord if it does not want to suffer a war disaster,” North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency reported, citing the National Defense Commission, which is headed by leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea is officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“We have taken this stand because all ‘sanctions’ the U.S. has imposed against the DPRK so far are based on the inveterate hostility and repugnancy towards it and Washington’s hostile policy towards it,” KCNA said.
“This is also because ‘sanctions’ were invented under absurd pretexts and conditions.”
The new U.S. sanctions are aimed at impeding access to the U.S. financial system and they named three entities, including North Korea’s military intelligence agency, and people with links to weapons sales and proliferation.
Financial sanctions have been effective in bringing pressure on Iran and Russia, but they have had limited impact on North Korea, which has been sanctioned by the United States for more than 50 years.