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North Korea calls US sanctions over human rights 'declaration of war'

July 07,2016 22:12

North Korea on Thursday called new U.S. sanctions a "declaration of war," one day after the State Department for the first time named leader Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses. The reaction was announced by the Korean Central News Agency, according ...

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These sanctions come after a yearlong look into human rights issues in North Korea.Video provided by Newsy
NewslookNorth Korea on Thursday called new U.S. sanctions a "declaration of war," one day after the State Department for the first time named leader Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses.The reaction was announced by the Korean Central News Agency, according to Reuters. It was at least the fourth time this year that the recluse nation, which has nuclear weapons, used such language after actions by the United States or South Korea.The latest comment came after the State Department imposed sanctions Wednesday on Kim and 22 other North Korean officials and entities over human rights violations that include systematic torture, forced labor, extrajudicial killings and rape. The officials were also accused of tracking down and killing defectors who fled the country.Many of the abuses were committed in political prison camps, which hold 80,000 to 120,000 prisoners and family members, according to the State Department report. North Korea also maintains a system of forced labor and restricts freedom of expression, religion and movement, the State Department said.The U.S. sanctions freeze assets and restrict companies and individuals with Kim and those named in the report.In April, North Korea called U.S.-South Korean military drills "an open declaration of war." A similar phrase was used in late February, when the U.S. and South Korea were preparing for those drills. North Korea at that time warned it could reduce U.S. military installations in the Pacific to ashes, and said, "Let's turn Seoul and Washington into a sea of fire."The Korean news agency used the phrase again in mid-February, when South Korea pulled out of the Kaesong industrial plant run jointly by the North and South to protest a North Korean missile launch.North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear weapons test in January, and used a long-range ballistic missile to put a satellite into orbit in February. The two tests drew condemnation by the United Nations Security Council, which called on North Korea to suspend all nuclear and missile tests.Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/29l3khH

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