In a unanimous statement adopted by the UN Security Council on Thursday, council members strongly condemned North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests.
They also threatened to punish Pyongyang for what they called the regime's highly destabilizing behavior.
The Security Council vowed to continue monitoring the situation and adopt tougher sanctions on the North if necessary.
South Korea's foreign ministry welcomed the statement, noting the stern response from Security Council members, including China and Russia.
On Wednesday, the United States had accused Russia of blocking an earlier version of the statement, with Moscow insisting on the inclusion of language that calls for dialogue with North Korea.
The UN statement is being seen as a significant coup for the Security Council, mainly due to its backing by Pyongyang's main ally China.
Recently, the U.S. has been dialing up the pressure on Beijing to use its leverage in assisting the Americans and its regional allies to rein in Pyongyang.
The Trump administration has repeatedly said that all options are on the table in regards to North Korea.
It also signaled a possible reinstatement of North Korea on its list of state sponsors of terrorism as a means to further pressure the regime.
The UN Security Council has adopted six sanctions resolutions on North Korea since 2006.
Two of these were adopted last year to ramp up the punitive measures on Pyongyang and put a tighter squeeze on the regime's hard currency revenue.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.