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For North Korea, sanctions hold little sway

UN condemnation brings vows from North to restart nuclear program, pull out of six-party talks.

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The UN Security Council met Monday and condemned North Korea's missile launch, saying it violated a resolution adopted in 2006.

Osamu Honda/AP

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China's success in averting tough new United Nations sanctions against its ally, North Korea, has not stopped Pyongyang from angrily rejecting Monday's watered down UN Security Council condemnation of its recent missile test. The pariah state's violent rhetoric cast a new shadow over the Korean peninsula's future.

North Korea announced Tuesday it would restart nuclear-weapons development and pull out of "useless" international negotiations to shut down its nuclear program, slamming the UN statement as "rampantly" infringing on the country's sovereignty.

Judging by past experience, Pyongyang will get away with its intransigence. The UN Security Council statement – drafted only because China and Russia would not agree to a legally binding resolution – says merely that it will "adjust" sanctions that have barely been enforced since they were imposed in 2006.

So far, "they have had no significant impact … not enough to change North Korean policy calculations," says Denny Roy, a North Korea analyst at the East-West Center in Honolulu.

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