The Korean Central News Agency, Pyongyang’s official organ, published commentary stating, "The US House of Representatives is mulling passing a 'bill on escalating sanctions with respect to transactions relating to North Korea' … The bill, the keynote of which is to seek the sinister intention of totally excluding the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) from the international financial system, is nothing new as it is part of a series of persistent US moves to stifle it through sanctions."
The commentary comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to meet with US President Donald Trump, and pointed out that such moves against the reclusive nation are nothing new, and are a rehash of sanctions enacted under US President Barack Obama.
"The US modified and supplemented the 'North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016' of the Obama administration which admitted a total failure in its DPRK policy. This fact reveals that the US is resorting to the last expedient," the commentary reads, according to Yonhap News Agency.
According to Washington, the proposed sanctions would have a considerable effect on the North’s economy, but KCNA pointed out that Pyongyang has "succeeded in the test-fire of a ground-to-ground medium to long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-10, the test-fire of an SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile), the ground jet test of a new type of high-thrust engine of a carrier rocket for the geo-stationary satellite and an explosion test of a nuclear warhead to startle the world and demonstrate the might of the nuclear power all over the world."
Contrary to the White House’s assertions, the outlet added that "The DPRK is able to prosper in the great spirit of self-reliance and self-development despite any sanctions and pressure as long as there are its territory, the Workers' Party of Korea and the DPRK government, water and air in this land. It is the faith and will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK."
Pyongyang has threatened retaliation if the sanctions pass, and on Monday the North’s Foreign Ministry decried both their proposal and the ongoing joint military drills with Japan and South Korea.
KCNA quoted a ministry spokesman who called the exercises "reckless actions" that could very well drive the Korean peninsula "to the brink of a war."
In keeping with the North’s practice of making unspecified threats, the spokesman remarked, "Now that the US fails to face up to the trend of times but incites confrontation to strangle the DPRK, the DPRK is left with no option but to take necessary counteraction against it. The world will soon witness what eventful steps the DPRK will take to frustrate the hideous and reckless sanctions racket."
Not long after the spokesman’s comments were made, a bill simultaneously denouncing Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear development and calling to relist the country as a state sponsor of terror was passed by the US House of Representatives with huge support.