North Korea faces new sanctions after most powerful nuclear test to date

Regime takes aim at critics following accusations of 'maniacal recklessness'

north korea

A defaced image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is burned by South Korean protesters during a rally denouncing North Korea's latest nuclear test | Photo: PA Images

North Korea has said it will not submit to US "nuclear blackmail", following the west's condemnation of its fifth and largest nuclear test.

Pyongyang is facing a fresh round of international sanctions after the detonation, which triggered an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.

At an emergency meeting on Friday night requested by the US and Japan, the UN Security Council condemned the "brazen defiance" of Pyongyang.

Even China, which is North Korea's main ally, slammed the nuclear test.

But in response the ruling party's newspaper Rodong Sinmun said: "Gone are the days never to return when the US could make a unilateral nuclear blackmail against the DPRK.

"The US is exasperated by the strong military steps being taken by the DPRK in a phased way."

The newspaper also criticised South Korean President Park Geun-Hye over her condemnation of the North's ballistic missile test.

Ms Geun-Hye had accused Kim Jong-un of "maniacal recklessness" following the test at the Punggye-ri nuclear site.

The paper called her a "dirty prostitute" of foreign forces and said she was "groundlessly taking issue with the DPRK over its just measures for bolstering nuclear deterrence for self-defence".

TV screens in Seoul show a North Korean newscaster reading a statement from the North's Nuclear Weapons Institute on Friday | Photo: PA Images

It added: "The DPRK will not change its option though such American colonial servant and dirty prostitute of foreign forces as Park Geun-Hye is making such a fuss."

North Korea has been subject to sanctions since 2006 but the impoverished country has, nevertheless, continued to develop its nuclear programme.

After its fourth test in March, sanctions were toughened to include North Korea's mineral trade and stricter banking restrictions.

However, this did not stop the isolated communist state from conducting a further 21 ballistic missile launches.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has said North Korea is "seeking to perfect its nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles so they can hold the region and the world hostage under threat of nuclear strike".