North Korea could test-fire a long-range missile this month designed to strike US territory, South Korean news reports have said.
The rogue state may also be gearing up for skirmishes with South Korea around their disputed sea border, the reports added.
Pyongyang sparked international condemnation last week with a nuclear test that put it closer to having a working atomic bomb, short-range missile tests and threats to attack the South.
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It also warned of further measures, if the United Nations tries to punish it.
In another move that could further stoke tensions, North Korea will hold a trial on Thursday for two US journalists.
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The pair were taken into custody along the border with China several months ago and charged with “hostile acts”.
The growing belligerence is seen as an attempt to bolster the position of leader Kim Jong Il, whose suspected stroke in August raised questions about his grip on power.