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N. Korea claims sanctions hinder development goals

North Korea‘s top diplomat has claimed that economic sanctions could hinder development goals as he accused the United States of harboring a hostile policy against the communist country.

Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong said in a U.N. summit Sunday that the adoption of the sustainable development agenda at the U.N. is a meaningful event, but he warned that development goals “will not be attained” if economic sanctions imposed on some countries are left intact.

On Friday, member states of the U.N. adopted a new sustainable development agenda and set 2030 as the target year for achieving the goals that call for, among other things, ending poverty, protecting the planet and providing high-quality education.

The U.S. “persistently tries to suffocate even the sectors of our people’s life by resorting to all means, proceeding from its inveterate animosity and hostile policy to remove the socialist system” of North Korea, according to a text of Ri‘s speech provided by the U.N.

North Korea has long been under an array of U.S. and international sanctions for its nuclear and missile programs.

The North could face tightened sanctions if it goes ahead with a long-range rocket launch.

There is speculation that North Korea may launch a long-range rocket in October to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of

the Workers’ Party.  

Ri claimed North Koreans are making achievements for sustainable development while overcoming sanctions under what he calls the wise leadership of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

He also said North Korea gives high priority to the science and technology.

North Korea claims that its satellite launches are a peaceful project for science and economic development, calling it a sovereign right.

Still, Seoul and Washington view a satellite launch as a cover for testing the North‘s ballistic missile technology, which is banned under U.N. resolutions. (Yonhap)