North Korea accused the United States of driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula "to the brink of war," and said it is fully prepared to counter any US aggression.
The North's latest burst of anti-US rhetoric came as Washington increases scrutiny and pressure on the communist nation over concern it may test-launch a long-range missile capable of hitting American territory.
"Today's grave situation in which the US ... is driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war proves once again that peace has been able to be maintained ... only because we have a strong war deterrent," said the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland in a statement issued Friday night.
"Our military and the people are fully prepared to cope with any US provocations and challenges," it said.
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