North Korea has responded to tough new United Nations Security Council sanctions with typical defiance, calling the measures a "violent violation" of its sovereignty and promising "righteous action" in return. In statements carried by the official Korea Central News Agency on Sunday, Pyongyang rejected calls for it to return to the negotiating table over its nuclear weapons program, vowing that its nuclear deterrent would not be affected by threats from Washington, Al Jazeera reports. We "will never take a single step back from strengthening our nuclear might," Pyongyang's statement said. The sanctions are expected to slash North Korea's annual $3 billion export revenue by a third.
Analysts, however, warn that even if the tough new sanctions, the eighth round passed since 2006, can be made to stick, it may not be enough to prevent North Korea from creating a nuclear missile capable of withstanding re-entry. "The problem with sanctions alone is that we don't have that kind of time," Leon Sigal, director of the New York-based Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project, tells the Wall Street Journal. "They're very close to an ICBM." Reuters reports that South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke to President Trump on Monday and promised to apply maximum pressure to the North. (China has told Pyongyang to "be smart" and stop missile tests.)