N.Korea rejects UN sanctions, declares pursuit of nukes

SEOUL - North Korea formally rejected a UN Security Council resolution on Saturday that demands an end to its nuclear arms program, signalling it would defy international sanctions and pursue its goal of becoming a full-fledged nuclear weapons state.
The Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday, tightening financial restrictions and cracking down on its attempts to transport banned cargo.
The North's sole major ally China wants the sanctions fully implemented. The sanctions are designed to make punitive measures more like those used against Iran, which Western officials say have been surprisingly successful.
The resolution, the fifth since 2006 aimed at stopping the North's nuclear and ballistic missile program, coincides with a sharp escalation of security tensions on the Korean peninsula after Pyongyang's third nuclear test on Feb. 12.
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