Pyeongyang appears to be scaling up the pressure on Washington ahead of its self-imposed year-end deadline for the U.S. to provide more concessions in nuclear talks.
Pak Jong Chon, the North Korean military's chief of staff, said that the North has gathered (quote)"enormous power", in a statement released on Saturday.
Hailing the success of its recent string of weapons testing, Pak said that its newly-acquired technology will also be applied in the development of other strategic weapons.
North Korea announced that it conducted an "important test" on Friday evening at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Dongchang-ri.
It came about a week after Pyeongyang claimed to have conducted another test of great significance, prompting concerns of fresh provocations by the North.
Pak also warned the U.S. to refrain from using any words that could aggravate the North, if it wants to spend the holiday season in peace.
Still, he did leave the door open for talks, saying the North must be prepared to face any situation, whether it involves dialogue or confrontation.
In addition, North Korea's Academy of National Defense Science of North Korea said that its latest research will be applied to upgrade North Korea's strategic nuclear deterrent.
The North says it is entirely up to Washington what "Christmas gift" it will receive, an ominous message as it tries to pressure Washington to come up with a new proposal in their stalled nuclear talks before the year is up.
KIM Da-mi, Arirang News.