North Korea threatened on Tuesday a “merciless” retaliation against its neighborhood, the South, for its support of UN sanctions.
A lengthy commentary published Tuesday by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reiterated that the sanctions resolution passed by the UN Security Council was tantamount to a "declaration of war".
Noting that the South's "despicable" support for the resolution, KCNA said it was an act of gross provocation that would not go unanswered.
"The provokers will meet only merciless retaliatory blows," it said.
The commentary made no specific mention of the nuclear test that the North's top military body had explicitly signaled in a statement carried by KCNA last week.
The National Defense Commission had said the test was aimed at "arch-enemy" the United States, which had proposed the UN resolution penalizing Pyongyang for a rocket launch it had staged last December.
SEOUL WARNS PYONGYANG AGAINST NUCLEAR TEST
For its part, the South Korean foreign ministry on Tuesday noted that the UN resolution had warned of further "significant action" against the North if it proceeds with another test.
"The government once again strongly urges North Korea to pay heed to the continued warnings from the international community and not push ahead with any further provocations, including a nuclear test," spokesman Cho Tai-Young said.
"I don't really understand why North Korea is sticking to an act that threatens security in the region at a time when its people are struggling from a lack of food," Cho said.