North Korea has threatened that if the UN Security Council (UNSC) imposes a fresh round of sanctions against the reclusive regime there will be an appropriate response from the hermit kingdom. Pyongyang's warning comes at a time when the top UN body is preparing to impose tougher economic sanctions on the North following the test-launch of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The US is attempting to navigate a stiff resistance from China and Russia in clamping more punitive measures on North Korea via the UNSC so as to restrict Pyongyang from marching ahead with its nuclear and missile programmes. So far, none of the sanctions enforced by the UN and the US has discouraged the regime in pursuing its weapons programmes.

On Friday (14 July), the North warned that there will be "corresponding measures" against any kind of blacklisting by the UNSC.

"Should the UNSC adopt another 'resolution on sanctions', this will trigger corresponding measures by the DPRK and (the North will) respond to the 'resolution' with its act of justice," an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Dozens of North Korean individuals and entities are under heavy economic sanctions already.

On 4 July, Pyongyang for the first time had test-fired an ICBM worsening the already tense atmosphere in the Korean peninsula. The event coincided with the US Independence Day. The act had defied UN regulations as the country is barred from conducting any ballistic missile tests.

Citing the latest ICBM in its arsenal, the North warned the US should scale down its actions against Pyongyang. "It will be a fatal mistake to consider any chance that the DPRK [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea – North Korea's official name] which rose to a dignified nuclear power and an ICBM state would tolerate the reckless 'sanctions' racket of the US and other hostile forces," added the KCNA.

North Korea missile developers
This undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 20, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (front R) waving to developers of the ground-to-ground medium-to-long range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 during a photo session in Pyongyang AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIS KNS AND AFP PHOTO / STR