North Korea said on Sunday that the United States’ push for sanctions following its fifth nuclear test was “laughable” and the country would continue to strengthen its nuclear power.
“The group of Obama’s running around and talking about meaningless sanctions until today is highly laughable,” state-run KCNA news agency cited a foreign ministry spokesman as saying in a statement.
The United States may launch unilateral sanctions against North Korea, a U.S. special envoy for the isolated state said earlier on Sunday, two days after it carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
World leaders had reacted with anger to the Nuclear test threatening grave consequences.
South Korea accused the North’s leader “maniacal recklessness”.
China “firmly opposed” the test, Japan “protested adamantly” and the US warned of “serious consequences”.
Such tests are banned by the UN, but this is the second nuclear test this year, and Kim Jong-un’s rhetoric has become increasingly aggressive.
North Korea has been sanctioned five times by the United Nations since its first Nuclear test in 2006.
In its statement announcing the underground test, North Korea expressed anger at the “racket of threat and sanctions… kicked up by the US-led hostile forces” to deny a “sovereign state’s exercise of the right to self-defence”.
The test came on the country’s National Day, which celebrates the founding of the current regime and which is often used as a show of military strength.
Technically, the North said test was aimed at further developing the miniaturisation of nuclear warheads so they could be mounted on ballistic missiles.
In its statement the North said it could now produce “at will, and as many as it wants, a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power”.
In recent months, the North has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches and has in the past often stated its aim of hitting US targets.
The North has previously made claims on “miniaturised” nuclear warheads but they have never been independently confirmed.
*Source Reuters, Background Report by BBC