It came at the end of a week that saw a blistering war of words between between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, with Trump using his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly to warn that Washington would "totally destroy" the North if America or its allies were threatened.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appealed to the global community, especially Russian Federation and China, to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, calling North Korea a case study of the failure to prevent rogue states from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.
Frustrated that China had not done more to rein in North Korea, the Trump administration considered new sanctions in July on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang, two senior USA officials told Reuters.
North Korea's official news agency has ridiculed the recent United Nations sanctions as "the dirty excrement of the reactionaries of history".
Russian Federation and China again urged adoption of their freeze-for-freeze proposal that would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the US and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises.
North Korea joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in the mid-1980s but it "cheated" and was never held accountable, he said.
He called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard", and said his country would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".
"Trump is a warmonger and a backstreet gangster", said Ri Il Ung, 24, a student at Pyongyang Mechanical University.
The new sanctions gave the Trump Administration the power to penalize individual companies and institutions that trade with and finance North Korea.
"We have to assume they could do it, but it is exceedingly provocative", he said.
If China truly wants to denuclearize the peninsula, he said it should work "to put the kind of pressure on North Korea that can change its strategic calculation before it's too late".
According to a release from Guam Homeland Security the U.S. Geological Survey detected a magnitude 3.5 quake in North Korea at around 6:29pm on Saturday.
Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern about the rise of tensions over North Korea and, while it too has signed up for the increasingly tough United Nations sanctions, it has also urged a return to talks and for all parties to exercise restraint.
"Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!" the president tweeted. The European Union has also agreed to ban investments in North Korea and exports of oil.