N Korea threatens to cut official contact with US

Pyongyang: North Korea on Monday threatened to cut off one of its official contact channels with the US, the first of its countermeasures against new sanctions imposed on the country. North Korea on Sunday made the statement in a message to the US denouncing recent sanctions against Pyongyang, which "impaired the dignity of the supreme leadership" of the country, Xinhua news agency reported. Currently, North Korea Permanent Mission to the UN in New York acts as one of the few communication channels between Pyongyang and Washington, which the country threatened to close down. On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on North Korean top leader Kim Jong Un and other senior officials over alleged human rights abuses. It also slapped sanctions on 10 other individuals and five entities for their ties to North Korea's abuse. North Korean Foreign Ministry on Thursday urged the US to withdraw the newly announced sanctions, saying they were an "open declaration of war against Pyongyang". The ministry also warned that North Korea will eventually cut off all channels of diplomatic contact with the US if the latter fails to withdraw the sanctions.