North Korea warned Saturday that it will watch every move of the United States as Washington pushes to impose new U.N. sanctions on the regime for its latest nuclear test.
Defying international warnings, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful yet nuclear test Sunday, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded atop an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Kim Jong-un hailed the latest nuclear test as “a great victory” at a celebration banquet, and praised the officials and experts for their efforts in carrying out the successful experiment, its state media said Sunday.
The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea hosted a feast to mark the North’s sixth and the most powerful test conducted last week, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Last Sunday, Pyongyang said it conducted a hydrogen bomb test at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the country’s northeast, which it claimed can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States.
Its latest nuke provocation has intensified tension on the peninsula to a new high, prompting the United Nations Security Council to push for a stronger sanctions resolution against the repressive regime, including an oil embargo and a freeze on Kim’s assets.
The United States officially requested the UNSC to vote on its draft resolution Monday.
Kim called the nuke test “a great victory won by the Korean people at the cost of their blood,” and called on the officials to “follow the fighting spirit and trait of the nuclear combatants,” the KCNA said.
The Korean People’s Army Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so, Premier Pak Pong-ju and Choe Ryon-hae, a vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party, were also present at the banquet.
An art performance was held on the sidelines of the celebration, which was attended by Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, it added.
The state media also reported its government had a separate banquet attended by ranking officials, including Kim Yong-nam, to celebrate its 69th founding anniversary of the regime.
There were yet no signs of imminent additional provocations by the North that could lead to another missile or nuclear test, the South’s government said. The North has often timed major provocations with important national anniversaries.