N Korea makes plutonium threat

Vows to go ahead with bomb-making programme amid global outcry

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry also acknowledged for the first time that the country has a uranium enrichment programme, and insisted it will never abandon its nuclear ambitions. Uranium and plutonium can be used to make atomic bombs. The threats, in a statement issued through the Korean Central News Agency, came a day after the Security Council approved new sanctions aimed at depriving the North of the financing used to build its rogue nuclear programme.

The resolution also authorised searches of North Korean ships suspected of transporting illicit ballistic missile and nuclear materials.

The sanctions are “yet another vile product of the US-led offensive of international pressure aimed at undermining... disarming DPRK and suffocating its economy,” the North Korean statement said.

Pyongyang blamed Washington for the nuclear tensions, saying it was “compelled to go nuclear in the face of the US hostile policy and its nuclear threats.” Washington says it has no intention of attacking the North and said its concern is that North Korea is trying to sell its technology to other nations.

Saturday’s threats made clear North Korea’s refusal to back down from international calls to give up its nuclear ambitions in the wake of its April rocket launch and underground nuclear test last month.

The statement also raised concerns of a military skirmish.

“An attempted blockade of any kind by the US and its followers will be regarded as an act of war and met with a decisive military response,” the North said.

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