SEOUL: North Korea on Thursday urged South Korea not to "blindly" follow the sanctions imposed by other countries and international organisations.
The Rodong Sinmun, the North Korean government's official newspaper, said that the sanction pressure and the warming of inter-Korean ties were not compatible. The paper said that the relations between the two Korean countries would not move forward if Seoul continued to bow down to the pressure of sanctions imposed by "foreign forces", Yonhap News Agency reported.
"If the (South) joins and blindly follows sanctions pressure by foreign forces manoeuvring to deter inter-Korean exchanges, the North-South relations cannot be advanced in the interests of the Korean people and the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration cannot be pushed," the Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary.
Calling to resolve all problems affecting inter-Korean ties in the interests of the Korean people, the newspaper added, "Cooperation within our nation, or national self-reliance, is the basic position for the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration and improvement of inter-Korean relationship."
Hitting out at the United States for applying pressure on South Korea in regards to the sanctions, The Rodong Sinmun asserted that such obstacles were impacting inter-Korean ties.
"The US is unjustly intervening in the internal affairs of our nation and the inter-Korean relationship, hindering the reconciliation, unity, dialogue and cooperation between Koreas," the paper added.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department blacklisted three Chinese, Russian and Singaporean shipping companies for violating financial sanctions that were meant to restrict foreign assistance to North Korea's already-beleaguered economy.
The new penalties slapped by US president Donald Trump administration are an attempt to further pressurise North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme and to receive economic aid in exchange, as part of the commitment made by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who promised to work for the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean Peninsula.
Last week, Pyongyang accused select senior US officials of attempting to further strengthen international sanctions imposed on the reclusive nation, asserting that it had stopped its nuclear missile programme and dismantled its nuclear testing site.
Although Kim vowed to halt its nuclear weapons programme, a confidential report by the United Nations revealed that North Korea had reportedly continued to build nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.