The UN Security Council (UNSC) says it will begin to prepare a new round of sanctions against North Korea in the wake of Pyongyang's recent nuclear test.
During a closed-door meeting Friday, the council strongly condemned the test and agreed to begin drafting a new resolution under article 41 of the UN Charter, which sets the terms for sanctions.
The Security Council had convened at the request of Japan, South Korea, and the United States, which had asked it to respond to the 10-kiloton blast.
Earlier in the day, North Korea had confirmed it had conducted a successful "nuclear warhead explosion" test, saying it was meant to counter US hostility. South Korean authorities had earlier said they believed North Korea had conducted its biggest nuclear test to date after detecting an “artificial earthquake.”
North Korea has pledged to develop a nuclear arsenal in an effort to protect itself from the US military, which occasionally deploys nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons in the region. Pyongyang is, meanwhile, discontented with joint military drills held in the Korean Peninsula by the South and the US as well as their plan to deploy THAAD missile system in the region.
The North Korean ruling party’s newspaper said likewise on Saturday that the country would stay on the nuclear path.
The North has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006.