North Korea has warned the US that it will suffer the "greatest pain" if fresh sanctions are imposed.
Pyongyang's threat came on Monday, 11 September, the day the US has called for a vote at the UN Security Council to punish the North for its 3 September nuclear test, its sixth and most powerful, in violation of UN regulations.
"The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea – North Korea's official name] will cause the US the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history," the North Korean foreign ministry said in a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korea, known for its bellicose rhetoric, went on to say: "The US is revealing its nature as a blood-thirsty beast obsessed with the wild dream of reversing the DPRK's development of the state nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase, there is no way that the DPRK is going to wait and let the US feast on it."
According to a US-engineered resolution, cited by media reports, Washington wants the UN Security Council to place an oil embargo on North Korea, apart from a travel and financial ban on its Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. China and Russia, both veto-holding powers, are unlikely to be on board with the US.
If implemented the sanctions will be the toughest-ever yet on the North Korean regime. The draft proposal was circulated among diplomats two days after the nuclear test and negotiations were believed to be taking place between key powers until late Sunday.
Though previous sanctions were discussed for weeks or even months, a week's time to call for a vote at the top UN body underscores the determination of the administration of US President Donald Trump to expedite the whole process.