North Korean Rocket Launch
Video grab from KCNA shows Unha-3 rocket launching at North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, in Cholsan county - Reuters Reuters

North Korea has pledged to reinforce its military programme despite the raft of UN-backed sanctions designed to deter any rocket launch by Pyongyang.

The Foreign Ministry of North Korea said. "We will take measures to boost and strengthen our defensive military power including nuclear deterrence," according to the state-run KCNA news agency.

The government has also ruled out talks with neighbouring South Korea to reduce its nuclear and arms capabilities.

North Korea's defiant stance comes after the UN Security Council condemned Pyongyang's successful launch of a satellite into space in December, which defied international warnings.

The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution, which "condemns the launch and reiterates the Security Council's previous demands that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program and not proceed with further launches".

According to the resolution, the UN will also initiate "significant action" if Pyongyang presses ahead with third nuclear test. North Korea's space agency will face sanctions, along with a raft of trading companies.

Alongside the sanctions at UN level, America is pondering its own action in tandem with South Korea, which maintains tense relations with its northern neighbour.

"We have been in discussion with the US side about additional bilateral sanctions against the North following the UN resolution," a senior unnamed diplomat from Seoul told the Yonhap news agency.

North Korea insists its recently launched rocket was designed to put a communications satellite in space. However a number of international powers, including the US, have suggested the launch is a disguise to test long-range missile technology.