March 19, 2018 13:36
North Korea is building a monument at the site of its intercontinental ballistic missile launch, satellite pictures show according to the New York Times on Saturday.
The NYT said that the monument is in progress at the launch site of the Hawsong-15, the first ICBM that North Korea claims could reach a target in the continental United States.
North Korea is also denouncing ongoing U.S. and Japanese efforts to strengthen sanctions. The official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday, "The Japanese reactionaries are desperately inciting the atmosphere for sanctions and pressure" and warned Tokyo could end up ostracized on any matters involving the North.
The state-run Rodong Sinmun daily said earlier this month that U.S. sanctions violate North Korea's sovereignty.
The U.S. seems determined to maintain maximum pressure on Pyongyang. Acting U.S. Secretary State John Sullivan, meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Washington on Friday said they agreed to maintain "maximum pressure" on North Korea.
An annual report by the UN Security Council also points to the need for tough sanctions. The UNSC said the North continues despite a ban with the illicit sale of iron ore, coal, silver ore, zinc and nickel on the open sea, which netted it at least US$200 million last year. Some North Korean ships simply paint over their country's flags on their sides. It said the North is also selling weapons to Mozambique, Myanmar and Syria.
One North Korean ship seized en route to Syria in January last year contained acid-resistant tiles and adhesive chemicals, suggesting that North Korea was aiding Syria's development of chemical weapons.
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