The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously for tough new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test.
The threat of more sanctions had sparked a furious Pyongyang to threaten a nuclear strike against the United States.
Thursday's vote by the UN's most powerful body on a resolution drafted by North Korea's closest ally, China, and the United States sends a powerful message to North Korea that the international community condemns its ballistic missile and nuclear tests - and its repeated violation of Security Council resolutions.
The new sanctions are aimed at making it more difficult for North Korea to finance and obtain material for its weapons programmes.
Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said earlier the North will exercise its right for "a pre-emptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors" because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.
Although North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs and pre-emptive strikes, it is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the US. It is believed to have enough nuclear fuel, however, for several crude nuclear devices.
Such inflammatory rhetoric is common from North Korea, and especially so in recent days. North Korea is also angry over upcoming US-South Korean military drills.
At a mass rally in Pyongyang on Thursday, tens of thousands of North Koreans protested at the US-South Korean war drills and sanctions.
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