Korea warns of "merciless" reply to American-South Korean missile defense partnership

The move to deploy the THAAD system, which drew a swift and sharp protest from China, came a day after the US Treasury Department blacklisted leader North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses.

The latest sanctions, which described Kim directly responsible for a long list of serious human rights abuses, are the first that name the leader of the isolated, nuclear-armed state.

It was North Korea's policy of developing ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that prompted the U.S.

Also on Monday, the North cut all communications with the USA through its office at the UN - a rare channel of communications between the two nations that do not have official diplomatic ties.

It is a channel for North Korea's United Nations diplomats to communicate with U.S. diplomats and is needed because the countries do not have diplomatic ties.

Pyongyang had earlier slammed the sanctions on Kim as a "declaration of war" and vowed to take strong retaliatory measures.

It will handle all matters, including any discussions about two Americans it has detained, under wartime laws, it said.

South Korea's defense ministry said it will announce later on Wednesday the location of a US military THAAD anti-missile defense unit, a planned deployment that has angered China and prompted North Korea to threaten retaliation. He also reiterated a call for the Americans to be freed.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has reportedly conducted an unsuccessful test firing of a ballistic missile from a Sinpo-class submarine off the country's eastern coast on Saturday.

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North Korea is threatening physical retribution against the United States in response to an anti-missile system that has been jointly deployed by South Korea and the U.S. Representatives from the reclusive nation said that it would make both countries "suffer from the nightmare of uneasiness and terror".

Still, Kim dismissed Pyongyang's threat as a routine statement - the kind Seoul and the United States have heard repeatedly.

The move has also angered Beijing and Moscow, which both see it as a United States bid to boost military might in the region.

"The biggest problem of the peninsula's messy situation lies in U.S.' Cold-War strategy in Northeast Asia, and its mind-set of balancing China in the region".

Pyongyang is already subject to heavy US sanctions for its past nuclear and missile activity.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye defended the decision to deploy the missile defense system, which she said was targeted exclusively at North Korea.

Deploying it close to China's borders on the South Korean soil, China's foreign minister Wang Yi has argued, "far exceeds the Korean peninsula's defense needs".

In response to the THAAD deployment, North Korea also threatened Monday an unspecified "physical response".

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