The measures restrict oil imports and ban textile exports - an attempt to starve the North of fuel and income for its weapons programs.
The US had originally proposed harsher sanctions including a total ban on oil imports.
The vote was only passed unanimously after Pyongyang allies Russia and China agreed to the reduced measures.
The sanctions, which were passed at a UN Security Council meeting on Monday, were met with anger by North Korea.
A statement on state news agency KNCA warned that if the US did eventually push through harsher sanctions, North Korea would "absolutely make sure that the US pays due price".
The US call last week for a total ban on oil imports was seen as by some analysts as potentially destabilizing for the regime.
The new sanctions agreed by the UN include:
Limits on imports of crude oil and oil products. China, Pyongyang's main economic ally, supplies most of North Korea's crude oil.
A ban on exports of textiles, which is Pyongyang's second-biggest export worth more than $700m (£530m) a year.
A ban on new visas for North Korean overseas workers, which the US estimates would eventually cut off $500m of tax revenue per year.
A proposed asset freeze and a travel ban on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were dropped.
The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, told the Security Council after the vote: "We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today. We are not looking for war."
A South Korean presidential office spokesman said on Tuesday: "North Korea needs to realize that a reckless challenge against international peace will only bring about even stronger sanctions against them."
Monday's resolution was the ninth one unanimously adopted by the UN since 2006.