North Korea has condemned new US sanctions as an attempt to undermine improvement in relations between the two Koreas, stressing that Pyongyang's nuclear weapons are aimed at preventing threats, the state news agency KCNA reports.
"The two Koreas have cooperated together and the Olympics was held successfully but the US brought the threat of war to the Korean peninsula with new large-scale new sanctions ahead of the Olympics closing ceremony," the media said, citing the country's foreign ministry.
According to the news agency, Pyongyang will consider an imposition of a maritime blockade by Washington as an act of war and "will not stop the US if it really has the nerves to confront us [North Korea] in a 'rough' manner."
US President Donald Trump warned that if the latest round of sanctions imposed on Pyongyang fail to yield Washington's desired effects, the US will go to "phase two."
A new batch of sanctions was imposed amid easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as the two Koreas agreed to hold a summit and the DPRK sent its delegation and athletes to the ongoing Winter Olympic Games.