North Korea must be worried about how the newest round of U.S. sanctions will hit them, because they took the unusual step this week of writing directly to the House of Representatives to protest the stiffening punishment. While there’s nothing special about Pyongyang complaining (violently) about the actions of the United States, it is extraordinarily rare for their parliament to address American lawmakers directly. It could be a sign that the country fears losing China’s protections and thus having to face the full brunt of the economic limitations imposed by the rest of the world.
In the letter, which was published by North Korean state media, the regime called the sanctions “the most heinous act against humanity that not only infringes upon the sacred sovereignty of the DPRK, but also arbitrarily violates universal principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries which run through the United Nations Charter.”
“The U.S. House of Representatives should think twice,” the regime continued. “As (the House) enacts more and more of these reckless hostile laws, the DPRK’s efforts to strengthen nuclear deterrents will gather greater pace, beyond anyone’s imagination.”
The House passed the new sanctions on May 4 with a 419-1 vote. The sanctions were developed as part of the U.S. response to Kim Jong Un’s continued threats to both America and its foreign allies; the regime has also repeatedly defied the international community with their ballistic and nuclear tests.
The sanctions will, when enacted, target the country’s shipping industry and their reliance on slave labor. The package also requires the Trump administration to recommend whether or not North Korea should regain its status as a state sponsor of terror within 90 days. If Trump’s State Department designates the regime as such, it would trigger another round of strong sanctions and could endanger the U.S. foreign assistance flowing into the country.
This could simply be nothing more than another example of Kim Jong Un’s overblown rhetoric, but it could also mean that American pressure is finally breaking through Pyongyang’s seemingly-impenetrable, hostile facade. After several recent failed ballistic missile tests and indications that China could be ready to abandon their client state, is the North Korean madman ready to see reason?