SEOUL - North Korea stepped up its bellicose rhetoric on Tuesday threatening to go beyond carrying out a promised third nuclear test in response to what it believes are "hostile" sanctions imposed after a December rocket launch.
The North frequently employs fiery rhetoric aimed at South Korea and the United States and in 2010 was blamed for sinking a South Korean naval vessel. It also shelled a South Korean island in the same year, killing civilians.
It did not spell out the actions it would take. The North is not capable of staging a military strike on the United States, although South Korea is in range of its artillery and missiles and it can hit Japan with its missiles.
"The DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, or North Korea) has drawn a final conclusion that it will have to take a measure stronger than a nuclear test to cope with the hostile forces nuclear war moves that have become ever more undisguised," the North's KCNA state news agency said.