North Korea has threatened the United States with the “greatest pain” it has ever suffered following new sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
Pyongyang’s envoy to the UN accused Washington of opting for “political, economic and military confrontation”.
US President Donald Trump said the move was nothing compared to what would have to happen to deal with North Korea.
The UN sanctions are an attempt to starve the country of fuel and income for its weapons programmes.
The measures restrict oil imports and ban textile exports, and were approved after North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test earlier this month.
Han Tae Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, said he “categorically rejected” what he called an “illegal resolution”.
“The forthcoming measures by DPRK [the Democratic Republic of Korea] will make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history,” he told a UN conference in Geneva.
“Instead of making the right choice with rational analysis, the Washington regime finally opted for political, economic and military confrontation, obsessed with the wild dream of reversing the DPRK’s development of nuclear force, which has already reached the completion phase.”
The resolution was only passed unanimously after North Korea’s allies Russia and China agreed to softer sanctions than those proposed by the US.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the Security Council after the vote: “We don’t take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today. We are not looking for war.”
“The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return,” she added. “If North Korea continues its dangerous path, we will continue with further pressure. The choice is theirs.”
A South Korean presidential office spokesman said on Tuesday: “North Korea needs to realise that a reckless challenge against international peace will only bring about even stronger sanctions against them.”
China’s foreign ministry said that North Korea had “ignored international opposition and once again conducted a nuclear test, severely violating UN Security Council resolutions”.
It also repeated its call for a “peaceful resolution” instead of a military response, adding: “China will never allow the peninsula to descend into war and chaos.”
Both Russia and China reiterated their proposal that the US and South Korea freeze all military drills – which anger North Korea – and asked for a halt in the deployment of the controversial anti-missile system Thaad, in exchange for Pyongyang’s cessation of its weapons programmes.
Beijing believes Thaad, which employs a powerful radar, is a security threat to China and neighbouring countries.
Ms Haley last week dismissed this proposal as “insulting”.