North Korea promises 'all-out action' amid talk of nuclear test
February 12, 2013 -- Updated 0258 GMT (1058 HKT)
(File) A nuclear test site and water cooling plant are pictured in North Korea.
- NEW: "It's part and parcel of their threats to engage in more provocations," says U.S. official
- U.S. officials say a new North Korean nuclear test could come at any time
- North Korea has conducted two previous nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009
(CNN) -- Amid talk of a possible nuclear bomb test, North Korea vowed Tuesday to carry out a "high-intensity, all-out action."
The promise emerged from a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party and was reported by the state-run news agency KCNA.
"It emphasized the necessity to continue on with launching artificial satellites ... and long-range rockets," the agency reported.
It also said that the party leadership promised to "stage a high-intensity, all-out action, and maximize its preparation ... so that just after an order is issued, we can destroy and sweep America and the South Korean puppet army, and achieve the historic achievement of reunified Korea."
3rd nuclear test could empower N. Korea
Bizarre North Korea nuclear dream video
North Korea threatens new nuclear test
Last month, the U.N. Security Council voted to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang, after the North launched a satellite aboard a long-range rocket in December.
The North Koreans responded by announcing they planned another nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches as part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States.
Since then, U.S. officials have told CNN they believe a nuclear test could come at any time.
"I don't think there's anything special to it, except that it comes in context of renewed trash-talking from Pyongyang. But on whole it's part and parcel of their threats to engage in more provocations," a senior U.S. administration official said about Tuesday's announcement.
North Korea has conducted two previous nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009, and proclaimed itself a "nuclear state" in 2012.
U.S. analysts believe the 2006 test had a yield of about 1 kiloton -- comparable to the explosive power of about 1,000 tons of TNT -- while the second was roughly 2 kilotons, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a Senate committee in 2012.
By comparison, the bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was roughly 15 kilotons.
CNN's Elise Labott and Matt Smith contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
A defector from the North Korean government says the country's cyberwarfare is more dangerous than its nuclear weaponry.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1327 GMT (2127 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
North Korea's fury over "The Interview" appears to have taken the state's oversensitivity to new extremes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 0157 GMT (0957 HKT)
A retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang in 2013. Here's what happened next.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
A recent defector from North Korea tells of the harrowing escape into China via Chinese 'snakehead' gangs.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Amara Walker speaks to a former North Korean prison guard about the abuses he witnessed and was forced to enact on prisoners.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT)
The chief of the Commission of Inquiry into North Korea's human rights says the world can no longer plead ignorance to the regime's offenses.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of the beatings and starvation he endured while imprisoned in the country's most notorious prison camp.
October 11, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system" and citizens have "priceless political integrity," the country declared.