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N. Korea says US terror sponsor label a 'serious provocation'

Nuclear-armed North Korea regularly denounces joint US and South Korean military drills as rehearsals for invasion
Kenneth ABBATE (US NAVY/AFP/File)
US President Donald Trump this week declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism

North Korea condemned its US terror listing as a "serious provocation" on Wednesday, warning that sanctions would never force it to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

US President Donald Trump this week declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a spot on a US blacklist Pyongyang had shed nearly a decade ago.

On Tuesday the US also unveiled new sanctions targeting North Korean shipping and Chinese traders doing business with Pyongyang, raising the pressure on the pariah state to abandon its nuclear program.

"Our army and people are full of rage and anger towards the heinous gangsters who dared to put the name of our sacred country in this wretched list of 'terrorism'," state news agency KCNA quoted a foreign ministry spokesperson as saying.

Slamming Washington for behaving like an "international judge on terrorism," the spokesperson added that the US move was "clearly an absurdity and a mockery to world peace and security".

"The nuclear weapons of the DPRK are the deterrence to safeguard our sovereignty," the report said. 

"As long as the US continues with its anti-DPRK hostile policy, our deterrence will be further strengthened."

Trump warned that the terror designation and sanctions announcement would be part of a series of moves over the next two weeks to reinforce his "maximum pressure campaign" against Kim Jong-Un's regime.

China, the North's sole ally, rejected the new sanctions as "wrong" on Wednesday.

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