The UN security council unanimously opted today for tough new sanctions punishing North Korea for its latest nuclear tests.
The resolution imposes asset freezes on some individuals and firms linked to the country's military as well as targeting luxury goods.
Pyongyang said before the vote that if the measures went ahead the country's armed forces "would exercise their right to a pre-emptive nuclear strike," state news agency KCNA reported.
The threat came just two days after North Korea vowed to scrap a ceasefire that has largely kept military hostilities with South Korea at bay for nearly 60 years.
Pyongyang has denounced joint military exercises between the south and US starting next week, which it claimed are a precursor to invasion.
The annual drills will involve 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 US troops.
China - seen as one of North Korea's few world allies - has appealed for calm and all parties to commit to peace and stability. The country drafted the latest sanctions regime.
China's UN ambassador Li Baodong called for the resumption of six-party talks to deal with the conflict.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon said the resolution sent an "unequivocal message" that the international community would not tolerate the development of nuclear weapons.
North Korea carried out its third underground nuclear test on February 12, sparking worldwide condemnation.
It has also been accused of using satellite launches as a cover for banned tests of ballistic missile technology.
But it is not thought the country has the capacity to carry out long-range nuclear attacks.
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