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North Korea vows ‘powerful counter measures’ against US-backed sanctions

North Korea President

North Korea on Thursday pledged to take “powerful counter measures” to respond to U.S. pressure or any new sanctions against it over its missile programme, accusing Washington of wanting war.

Pyongyang’s pledge, made in a statement by its delegation to an economic forum in Russia’s Far East, came after the U.S. said it wanted the UN Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea.

Also sought are ban on the country’s exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean labourers abroad, and subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution.

“We will respond to the barbaric plotting around sanctions and pressure by the U.S. with powerful counter measures of our own,’’ the statement said.

The same statement also accused South Korea and Japan of using the Russian forum to play “dirty politics,’’ saying the event was meant to be about discussing economic cooperation in the region and not about criticising its missile programme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the same forum on Thursday he thought the North Korea crisis would not escalate into a large-scale conflict involving nuclear weapons, predicting that common sense would prevail.

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