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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 11:17 GMT
Text: North Korea's 'sanctions' attack
Spanish forces boarding the North Korean ship Sosan
North Korea says the seizure of its ship was an act of "piracy"
North Korea has accused the US of imposing economic sanctions which are tantamount to war. The comment came in an official response to the seizure of a ship headed for Yemen last month carrying North Korean missiles.

The following is the text of the statement published in English by the official KCNA news agency:

US Secretary of State Powell was reported to have said that "the United States will stop and search ships from North Korea if it feels the need" and "we would intercept anything we think deserved to be intercepted. We have the right to intercept and take whatever action we believe appropriate in the circumstances."

The US committed piracy against the DPRK ship with missile parts and building materials on board

These outbursts clearly indicate what an alarming phase the Bush administration's illegal and inhuman hostile policy towards the DPRK and its unilateralism have reached as they are little short of a declaration that it would commit more piratical acts against DPRK trading cargo ships in the days ahead.

Towards the end of last year the US mobilised huge forces to stop, search and seize in broad daylight DPRK trading cargo ship Sosan on its routine voyage in the open sea, evoking worldwide criticism and scoff at it.

'Piracy'

It is universally known that the DPRK is developing and producing missiles to protect itself from constant military threat posed by the US and exporting them for a commercial purpose. The DPRK has never concealed this fact.

If its production and export of missiles are as dangerous as proliferating weapons of mass destruction as claimed by the US, it is the US which is totally to blame for it.

The US tailored containment strategy means total economic sanctions. Sanctions mean a war and the war knows no mercy.

The US tops the world's list in producing and selling the weapons of mass destruction and it is raking up biggest profits in arms sale. Such being a stark fact, the US committed piracy against the DPRK ship with missile parts and building materials on board which were to be delivered to a foreign country under a legal trading contract made with that country.

'Sanctions mean war'

Far from making an apology and compensation for the piracy the US is calling for intercepting and searching DPRK ships. This is a height of impudence.

What matters is that such piracy is being committed as part of the US tailored containment strategy against the DPRK. The strategy means total economic sanctions aimed at isolating and stifling the DPRK. Sanctions mean a war and the war knows no mercy.

The US should opt for dialogue with the DPRK, not for war, clearly aware that it will have to pay a very high price for such reckless acts. The US should apologise and compensate for its piracy against the ship as early as possible.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


Nuclear tensions

Inside North Korea

Divided peninsula

TALKING POINT
See also:

04 Jan 03 | Media reports
03 Jan 03 | Asia-Pacific
02 Jan 03 | Asia-Pacific
01 Jan 03 | Asia-Pacific
31 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
01 Jan 03 | Media reports
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