North Korea rejects UN sanctions

North Korea formally rejected a UN Security Council resolution on Saturday that demands an end to its nuclear arms programme, as China called for calm, saying sanctions were not the “fundamental” way to resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang said it would pursue its goal of becoming a full-fledged nuclear weapons state, despite the sanctions which were unanimously imposed on Friday by the Security Council.

The sanctions aim to tighten financial restrictions and crack down on North Korea's attempts to transport banned cargo. The resolution, the fifth since 2006 aimed at stopping the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme, coincides with a sharp escalation of security tensions on the Korean peninsula after Pyongyang’s third nuclear test on February 12.

“The DPRK, as it did in the past, vehemently denounces and totally rejects the ‘resolution on sanctions’ against the DPRK, a product of the US hostile policy toward it,” the North’s foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.

DPRK is short for the North’s official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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