North Korea vows to bolster war deterrence

PYONGYANG (AP) - North Korea is vowing to strengthen its war defences amid concerns the country may conduct a third nuclear test.

Citing US hostility, Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said on Monday without elaborating that the country will "continue to strengthen its deterrence against all forms of war."

A ministry memorandum carried by the Korean Central News Agency urged the US to dismantle a UN command that oversees an armistice signed at the close of the Korean War in 1953.

North Korea claims the right to build atomic weapons to protect itself against US threats. Monday's memorandum comes amid worries Pyongyang may follow a December rocket launch with a nuclear test.

Pyongyang carried out atomic tests in 2006 and 2009 weeks after being slapped with UN Security Council condemnation and sanctions for similar rocket launches.