North Korea has made similar comments almost daily since threatening last week to carry out fresh nuclear and missile tests, unless the United Nations apologises for punishing it over a recent rocket launch.

Sanctions

North Korea said the April 5 launch placed an experimental communications satellite into orbit, and has defended what it says is its sovereign right to a peaceful space programme.

But the US, South Korea and Japan say the rocket launch was a disguised missile test.

North Korea's foreign ministry on Monday denounced the US for trying to find an excuse for applying sanctions against Pyongyang.

In mid-April the UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Pyongyang, banning transactions and calling on UN member states to freeze the assets of three North Korean business entities.

The North protested by announcing that it had started reprocessing spent fuel rods at the Yongbyon nuclear complex to make weapons-grade plutonium.

It had already announced earlier that it was abandoning a six-nation nuclear disarmament pact with the US, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.