North Korea slammed the latest set of U.N. sanctions imposed on the isolated nation as an "act of war." The measures were taken earlier in the week in reaction to the country's repeated intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.

"We fully reject the latest UN sanctions ... as a violent breach of our republic's sovereignty and an act of war that destroys the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and a wider region," Pyongyang's foreign ministry said in a statement on the state-run KCNA news agency.

"The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment of the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country," the ministry statement added.

"We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the U.S. nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the U.S."

The statement concluded by saying that those who had voted for the sanctions would face Pyongyang's wrath.

"Those countries that raised their hands in favor of this 'sanctions resolution' shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the 'resolution' and we will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done," the statement said.

Crippling sanctions

The latest U.N. resolution limits 90% of petroleum exports to North Korea and demands that North Koreans working for Kim Jong Un's regime abroad return home. The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted in favor of the resolution; all 15 members of the council, including China and Russia, backed the sanctions.

A total of 16 North Korean officials, mostly in the banking sector, were added to the sanctions black list along with the ministry that manages the logistics of its armed forces.

But the resolution fell short of taking even tougher measures sought by the US such as the blacklisting of ships from other nations carrying banned cargo to North Korea or the freezing of international assets held by the Pyongyang government.

The last sanctions against North Korea had been adopted in September, leading North Korea to call for an end to the "brutal" measures that it termed "genocide."