The UN sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear test are a declaration of war, and the country will "deal merciless blows" if the nation's sovereignty is violated, the North's central government said Tuesday in its first response to the UN measures.
The North wants "peace but is not afraid of war," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
The sanctions, passed unanimously Saturday by the UN Security Council, ban the sale of major arms to the North and orders the inspection of cargo to and from the country. The US-initiated measure also calls for the freezing of assets of businesses supplying the North's nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.
The isolated communist nation said it "vehemently denounces the resolution, a product of the US hostile policy toward (the North) and totally refutes it."
"The resolution cannot be construed otherwise than a declaration of a war" against the North, also known at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the statement said.