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Pyongyang Vows to Regard Any Maritime Blockade as an Act of War

© KCNA/via ReutersMilitary vehicles are seen at a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) February 9, 2018.
Military vehicles are seen at a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) February 9, 2018. - Sputnik International
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Amid a thaw in relations between North and South Korea, US President Trump announced new sanctions against 56 vessels, trade entities, and shipping companies that are aimed at maximizing pressure on Pyongyang over its ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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."

READ MORE: Tokyo Expresses Support to New US Sanctions Against North Korea — PM Adviser

This is an aerial view of the five-sided Pentagon building, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, in Arlington, Va., in 1975 - Sputnik International
Pentagon Refuses to Confirm Plans for North Korea Ship Searches
North Korea's statement comes after, on Friday, the US announced "the largest-ever" set of sanctions against Pyongyang, which targeted "27 entities and 28 vessels located, registered, or flagged in North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama, and the Comoros."

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."

READ MORE: China Opposes US Korea-Related Sanctions, Urges Washington Not to Harm Relations

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.

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