N. Korea rejects UN criticism, threatens nuclear test

SEOUL - North Korea on Thursday rejected a UN resolution condemning its rights record and warned that it was being pushed into conducting a fresh nuclear test.

The resolution adopted at the United Nations on Tuesday was a "fraud," the North's foreign ministry said in a statement that accused the United States of leading efforts to humiliate Pyongyang in front of the international community.

"This aggression by the US is leaving us unable to further refrain from staging a new nuclear test," the statement said.

"Our military deterrence will be beefed up limitlessly to guard against US military intervention and attempts for armed invasion," it added.

The statement echoed remarks by the North's UN representative Sin Son-Ho following the adoption of the resolution in New York.

Passed by 111 votes to 19, with 55 abstentions, the resolution asked the UN Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible charges of crimes against humanity.

Co-sponsored by more than 60 countries, it drew heavily on the work of a UN inquiry which concluded in a 400-page report released in February that North Korea was committing human rights abuses "without parallel in the contemporary world."

Referral to the ICC is likely to be blocked at the Security Council by veto-wielding permanent members China and Russia - both of whom voted against the resolution on Tuesday.