North Korea has reacted angrily to threats of sanctions against the country for its nuclear test on 9 September, blasting US President Obama for being "foolish". The nuclear test was believed to be the largest carried out so far and has prompted the international community to consider its response.
The UN Security Council has denounced North Korea's nuclear test and US, France and Britain have pushed for new sanctions to be imposed on the country. Following Obama's speech, in which he maintained that the US would never accept North Korea as a nuclear state, Pyongyang hit out at the soon-to-be former president.
The Foreign Ministry of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) said: "Obama is trying hard to deny the DPRK's strategic position as a legitimate nuclear weapons state but it is as foolish an act as trying to eclipse the sun with a palm."
The ministry insisted that North Korea will continue to increase its nuclear force in quality and quantity, adding that this was necessary to "safeguard the dignity" and "right to exist" of the DPRK. Furthermore, Pyongyang stressed that its nuclear capabilities were particularly important in order to "ensure genuine peace from the US", which it believes is to blame for increasing the threat of a nuclear war.
Following the North's nuclear test, Obama said he had spoken to the South Korean and Japanese leaders and agreed to work with the Security Council to enforce existing measures. The US leader was also willing to take "additional significant steps" against Kim Jong-Un's government.
However, Pyongyang has dismissed the US' threats and continued to blame the States for North Korea's need for nuclear weapons. In a personal dig at Obama, the Foreign Ministry attacked the president's "bankrupt DPRK policy".
Pyongyang's spokesperson said: "Obama's recent 'statement' is aimed to shift the blame for pushing the DPRK to have access to nukes and save even a bit of his face that was completely lost before the world."
The international community has condemned North Korea's nuclear test, while the International Atomic Energy Agency has branded the test as a "clear violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions". The nuclear watchdog of the UN also noted that the test showed a "complete disregard for the repeated demands of the international community".