N. Korea Denounces UN Security Council's Presidential Statement
We begin this Wednesday evening with North Korea's reaction to the UN Security Council's decision to tighten sanctions following its failed rocket launch.
In a defiant statement on this Tuesday, Pyeongyang announced that it will no longer adhere to a recent bilateral agreement with Washington to halt testing of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.
Arirang News national defense correspondent Kim Han-ul has our top story.
In a statement released late Tuesday, the North Korean foreign ministry denounced the United Nations Security Council's presidential statement earlier this week condemning its attempted rocket launch, and said the regime was no longer bound to uphold the agreement made with the United States just over a month ago.
As part of the deal, also known as the Leap Day Agreement because it was concluded on February 29th, the U.S. said it would provide 240-thousand metric tons of food aid to North Korea, in exchange for a freeze on Pyeongyang's nuclear activities.
Now the U.S. is saying that when Pyeongyang attempted to launch the rocket last week, it reneged on that agreement.
As a result, the U.S. officially suspended the planned nutritional assistance. A State Department spokesperson reiterated Tuesday, that North Korea has not only reneged on commitments made on Leap Day, but also violated previously existing Security Council resolutions.
[INTERVIEW : Mark Toner, Spokesperson,U.S. State Dept.] ''Given the fact that theyve reneged on their commitments by launching this satellite, then weve suspended our side of the commitments.''
However, Pyeongyang is continuing to insist the rocket was intended to be used for peaceful purposes, that the U.S. is impeding the regime's ability and right to develop its own space program and that it will fire more satellites into orbit.
In the meantime, North Korea also announced that the international inspectors recently invited to inspect the country's nuclear facilities, won't be given the promised access. In response, the International Atomic Energy Agency says they are not likely to send inspectors to the communist state.
Kim Han-ul, Arirang News.
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