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North Korea Rejects UN Sanctions

North Korea has officially rejected a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an end to its nuclear arms program, as China called for calm.

In a statement released Saturday, the North's Foreign Ministry said that the sanctions, rather than weakening its nuclear program, would increase its capability "a thousand times."

This week's sanctions, the fifth since 2006, aim to tighten financial restrictions and crack down on the North's attempts to transport banned cargo.

Although Beijing voted for the new penalties, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told a news conference in Beijing Saturday that sanctions are not the "fundamental way" to resolve issues and should be followed by dialogue and negotiations.

Yang called on all relevant parties to stay calm, exercise restraint and refrain from making the situation worse.



North Korea conducted its third nuclear test last month, forcing the Security Council to pass the latest round of sanctions.

Pyongyang has vowed to scrap the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, and threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States. Many analysts say North Korea does not have the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile.

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