North Korea has sharply reacted to the US approval of possible sales of Tomahawk cruise missiles to Japan, calling it an extremely dangerous act.
The North's remarks came following the US State Department's announcement on Friday that it approved the potential sale of up to 400 Tomahawk missiles to its Asian ally and notified Congress of its decision.
A senior official at the North Korean defense ministry said on Monday the US action will raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
The official, answering a question from North Korea's state-run news agency, also said it will set off a new arms race.
The official called the possible missile sales to Japan a transaction in "lethal war equipment," and vowed the North would build up its deterrence in order to cope with and control instability on the peninsula.
North Korea earlier said it had conducted the first ground tests of "new-type high-thrust solid-fuel engines" for intermediate-range ballistic missiles on November 11 and 14.
South Korea's Defense Minister on Sunday said North Korea may attempt its third launch of a military spy satellite by the end of the month, raising concern among countries in the region. The first and second launches failed.