Seoul: North Korea on Saturday vowed to bolster its nuclear capacity, slamming a UN resolution calling for it to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over its human rights record.
The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution by a strong majority that asks the Security Council to refer North Korea to the ICC and to consider targeted sanctions against the Pyongyang leadership for the repression of its citizens.
North Korea will increase "efforts to bolster up in every way its capability for self-defence including nuclear force", the foreign ministry said in a statement carried on the official Korean Central News Agency.
It denounced the UN resolution as the "culmination of the ugly US policy of hostility" toward North Korea, and said the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula has lost all its relevance".
The North's foreign ministry last month warned that the isolated state was being pushed into conducting a fresh nuclear test, rejecting the UN attacks over its dismal human rights record.
North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, most recently in February 2013.
On Monday, the Security Council will discuss North Korea in its first-ever meeting to touch on the rights situation in the country, but no decision is expected on ICC referral during those talks.
The country's mission at the United Nations on Friday said a representative would not be sent to the meeting.
Up until now, the council had zeroed in on North Korea's nuclear program as a threat to international peace, but the scope has widened to human rights following the release of a UN commission of inquiry report.
The year-long inquiry heard testimony from North Korean exiles and documented a vast network of harsh prison camps holding up to 120,000 people along with cases of torture, summary executions and rape.