North Korea has threatened its neighbour Japan with "nuclear clouds" after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for putting more pressure on Pyongyang. North Korea described Shinzo's remark as a "suicidal deed".

Tensions in the Korean peninsula have been escalating in recent months with the Kim Jong-un regime defiantly conducting missile launches and a nuclear test despite international condemnation. While the global community has been exhorting North Korea to scale down its weapons programmes, Pyongyang has been lashing out at critics.

"Japan's such rackets inciting tension on the Korean peninsula are a suicidal deed that will bring nuclear clouds to the Japanese archipelago," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in its latest dispatch. "No one knows when the touch-and-go situation will lead to a nuclear war, but if so, the Japanese archipelago will be engulfed in flames in a moment. This is too self-evident."

The threat came in response to Abe's speech at the recent UN General Assembly session when he insisted that UN member states should put more pressure on Pyongyang and said a dialogue with the country will no longer be a viable option.

The KCNA report went on to accuse Abe of pushing the region into a nuclear war and added he was "running around the UN stage like a headless chicken".

The North is known to use harsh rhetoric and threaten its adversaries especially the US, Japan and South Korea in the past. The isolated country has made repeated threats of a nuclear attack against all three of them.

North Korea nuclear test and ICBM
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves at a photo session with attendants in the fourth Active Secretaries of Primary Organisation of KPA Youth in this undated photo KCNA via Reuters