North Korea to target U.S. with nuclear, rocket tests

North Korea has said it would carry out further rocket launches and a nuclear test that would target the United States. 

The announcement by the country's top military body came a day after the United Nations Security Council agreed a U.S.-backed resolution to censure and sanction the country for a rocket launch last month that breached U.N. rules.

South Korea and other observers believe the North is technically ready for a third nuclear test and the decision to go ahead rests with leader Kim Jong-un who pressed ahead with last month's rocket launch in defiance of the U.N. sanctions.

The North was banned from developing missile and nuclear technology under sanctions dating from its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.

The concern now is that North Korea, whose only major diplomatic ally, China, endorsed the latest U.N. Resolution, could undertake a third nuclear test using highly enriched uranium for the first time, opening a second path to a bomb. 

Its previous tests have been viewed as limited successes and used plutonium, of which the North has limited stocks.