North Korea says Davos snub over nuclear test 'seriously unjust'

SEOUL (REUTERS) - North Korea said the World Economic Forum's decision to withdraw an invitation to a meeting in Davos, Switzerland, following its recent nuclear test was "seriously unjust".

In a letter to the organiser from its United Nations mission in Geneva, North Korea said that it had hoped to have the opportunity to demonstrate its economic performance and promote economic cooperation.

"The letter emphasised that the forum will be held duly responsible for the consequences to be entailed by its unfriendly measure taken against the DPRK, a dignified sovereign state and full-fledged economic entity in North-east Asia," the North's KCNA news agency said.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the official name of North Korea, which has been slapped with UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes.

North Korea says it exploded a hydrogen bomb last Wednesday (Jan 6), although the United States and experts doubt that the weapon was as advanced as that. The nuclear test is its fourth, and drew condemnation from its neighbours and the United States.

The World Economic Forum on Wednesday (Jan 13) said it revoked the invitation for a North Korean delegation to attend the yearly Davos gathering.

It would have been the first time in 18 years that a North Korean delegation attended the event, a gathering place for elite from the worlds of politics, business and entertainment.

The North said in the letter that its delegation had decided to accept the forum's "repeated requests" to showcase its latest economic progress and pursue friendly ties, KCNA said. "The conduct by the forum reminds (us) of the behaviour by some elements that have chosen to cling to extreme hostile policy against the Republic and is seriously unjust," the letter said.

The WEF said the nuclear test meant there would be "no opportunity for an international global dialogue in the spirit of the World Economic Forum," WEF board member Philipp Roesler told reporters.

The North's delegation was to have been headed by Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong, who had spent two decades in Switzerland as ambassador and representative at the United Nations in Geneva.

South Korea warned North Korea on Wednesday (Jan 13) that the United States and its allies were working on further sanctions to inflict "bone-numbing pain" and urged China to do its part to rein in its isolated neighbour.