North Korea has promised to send more "gift packages" to the US after its latest nuclear test raised fresh tensions in the Korean peninsula. Refusing to scale down any of its weapons programme, the North said it is determined to press on with improving its nuclear and missile arsenal.

The hermit kingdom of North Korea conducted a major nuclear test, the country's sixth and most powerful detonation, on Sunday, 3 September. This had left global powers scrambling to condemn the provocative act, with the UN Security Council choosing harsh words to criticise the North.

Responding to condemnation pouring in from across the world, including from its key economic partner and geopolitical ally, China, Pyongyang has made it clear it has no intention of backing off from any of its activities.

"I am proud of saying that just two days ago on the 3rd of September, DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea — North Korea's official name] successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test for intercontinental ballistic rocket under its plan for building a strategic nuclear force," Han Tae-song, Pyongyang's envoy to the UN in Geneva, told a UN-sponsored gathering.

"The recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a gift package addressed to none other than the US. The US will receive more gift packages from my country as long as it relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK," added Han hinting that more missile tests could be carried out in the near future.

According to UN regulations, the North is prohibited from conducting ballistic missile tests and nuclear detonations but the reclusive regime has been continuously defying those global calls. While the US has called for the UN Security Council to vote on fresh sanctions on 11 September, Russia, which has veto power, said it was "a little premature" to come up with such punitive measures.

Amid all these tensions in the region, US President Donald Trump has also allowed South Korea and Japan — both key partners of the US under immediate threat from North Korean weapons — to purchase more "highly sophisticated" military equipment from the US.

North Korea Nuclear Weapon Kim Jong-un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance with Ri Hong Sop (2nd L) and Hong Sung Mu (R) on a nuclear weapons programme in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang KCNA via REUTERS