North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. File pic/AFPNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. File pic/AFP

In the face of Saturday's UN sanctions, North Korea remained defiant, saying the UN's move was unwarranted and unfair. Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed to apply maximum pressure and sanctions on North Korea in a telephone call on Monday, while China expressed hope that North and South Korea could resume contact soon.

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday aimed at pressuring Pyongyang to end its nuclear programme. North Korea responded in traditional fashion on Monday, saying it was ready to teach the United States a "severe lesson" if it launched an attack. North Korea said the UN sanctions infringed on its sovereignty, and vowed to take "righteous action", according to the North's official news agency.

In a statement to the Manila forum on Monday, Pyongyang also said it would never place its nuclear programme on the negotiating table as long as the US maintained a hostile policy against the North. In a transcript of a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, Pyongyang and warned there would be "strong follow-up measures".

Keep up the pressure
The United States, Australia and Japan on Monday urged the international community to pressure North Korea to abandon its "threatening and provocative path" and apply additional diplomatic and economic measures on Pyongyang over its missile tests. In a joint statement at the end of a meeting of their foreign ministers in Manila, the three countries said new sanctions on North Korea should be strictly implemented. They said they were committed to providing help in implementing them.

$3bn
North Korea's annual export revenue