North Korea on Sunday slammed the latest UN sanctions and vowed to press ahead with its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.
The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution imposing new targeted sanctions on a handful of North Korean officials and entities, in response to a series of ballistic missile tests this year that are banned under UN resolutions.
The resolution put North Korea's suspected spy chief, 13 other Pyongyang officials and four entities on a sanctions blacklist, hitting them with a global travel ban and an assets freeze.
The North's foreign ministry "condemns and outrightly rejects the sanctions racket put forth by the United States and the UN Security Council to prevent the strengthening of our nuclear deterrence," a ministry spokesperson said.
"[Washington] talked about the possibility of dialogue but it is nonsense to mention dialogue while laying out unfair preconditions and applying maximum pressure," the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
The statement said the latest resolution was said to have been put together by the US and China in the "back room."
It was Washington's "ultimate double standard" to ban other countries from nuclear or missile tests amid its own attempts to modernise the US arsenal, it said.
The US military said last Tuesday that it "successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target" in a test conducted amid concerns over the North's weapons program.
Concern over the North's weapons programme intensified after North Korea test-fired yet another ballistic missile last week, the latest in a series of launches in its quest to develop weapons capable of hitting the US.
It was the third missile test by the nuclear-armed regime in less than three weeks.
The North says it needs nuclear weapons to forestall the threat of US attack.
It was "a fatal miscalculation" for the countries behind the sanctions resolution to think they could delay the North's nuclear forces, the statement said.
"They would squarely see that their mean and indiscreet act would go in just [the] opposite direction to what they want ..."