North Korea warned on Monday the United States would pay a "due price" for spearheading a U.N. Security Council resolution against its latest nuclear test, as Washington presses for a vote on a draft resolution imposing more sanctions on Pyongyang.
South Korean officials have said after the North's sixth nuclear test on September 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb, that it could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile in defiance of international pressure.
The United States wants the Security Council to impose an oil embargo on the North, halt its key export of textiles and subject leader Kim Jong Un to financial and travel bans, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters.
The North's Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United States was "going frantic" to manipulate the Security Council over Pyongyang's nuclear test, which it said was part of "legitimate self-defensive measures."
"In case the U.S. eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful 'resolution' on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the U.S. pays due price," the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
DPRK is short for the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"The world will witness how the DPRK tames the U.S. gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged," the unnamed spokesman said.
"The DPRK has developed and perfected the super-powerful thermo-nuclear weapon as a means to deter the ever-increasing hostile moves and nuclear threat of the U.S. and defuse the danger of nuclear war looming over the Korean peninsula and the region."
There was no independent verification of the North's claim to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test, but some experts said there was enough strong evidence to suggest Pyongyang had either developed a hydrogen bomb or was getting close.
KCNA said on Sunday that Kim threw a banquet to laud the scientists and top military and party officials who contributed to the nuclear bomb test, topped with an art performance and a photo session with the leader himself.