03/06/2013, 00.00
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UN sanctions "toughest ever imposed on Pyongyang"

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Overnight United Nations Security Council agreement on a draft text that tries to block regime’s military provocations by force. Beijing: "We agree, enough’s enough." Pyongyang threatens to break armistice if the US-South Korea do not stop joint exercises and hands out hundreds of decorations to the "Heroes of the Revolution."

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The new sanctions approved overnight by the United Nations Security Council "are the toughest ever imposed on North Korea" according to the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, who added: "The new restrictive measures will help to prevent development of future missile tests." For its part, Pyongyang has threatened to tear up the 1953 armistice, which concluded the Korean War , without a true peace.

According to the regime led by Kim Jong-un the joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea "are a clear provocation to peace and stability in the region. They are an act of systematic destruction of the Korean armistice." The truce, said a spokesman for the North Korean Army, "will end the truce next Monday if Washington and Seoul troops kick off a new phase of the maneuvers [the" Foal Eagle" ed] which they started March 1, entering the so-called" Key Resolve ".

The technical term indicates computer simulations on the possible scenarios of war, defense and attack, based on sophisticated technologies and always having as reference a military offensive by the North Korean armed forces. Pyongyang's propaganda has used this very special technique to define the exercises "militaristic, imperialistic and unacceptable."

About 200 thousand South Korean troops and 10 thousand Americans troops are involved in the maneuvers: according to plans they should conclude by the end of April. The new Secretary of State John Kerry argued that "it is very easy for Kim Jong-un to prove his good faith: do not launch the next missile. Do not perform the next test. Say he is ready to negotiate."

The UN sanctions, which have yet to be enacted, provide for restrictions on the sale of yachts, sports cars and luxury materials. The ban on arms sales has been ongoing for several years, but many countries do not seem to respect it: in particular, Iran has been accused several times of supplying war materials and know-how to the military regime. There will also be a new "black list" of people - scientific and military officials - who cannot get a visa from UN countries.

Meanwhile, China, the last great ally of North Korea, seems to be aligning itself with the international community. Hua Chunying, a spokesman of the Chinese delegation to the UN, said: "We have said many times that China supports an adequate response from the UN Security Council, expressing our opposition to Pyongyang's nuclear test."

The new round of resolutions puts a strain on even the North Korean people, as they watch even more international humanitarian donations trickle away. According to a Catholic source that works with refugees "the regime is trying to galvanize the people by handing out hundreds of decorations to the 'Heroes of the Revolution' to all those who have or have had something to do with the military tests. Immediately after the Korean War less than 30 were awarded, now they are everywhere. It's like preschool children who receive a gold star for being good. "


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