In a statement carried by KCNA news agency, the top military body said the "high-level nuclear test" and more long-range rocket launches were aimed at its "arch-enemy", the US.
The statement gave no time-frame for the test. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009.
The move comes two days after a UN Security Council resolution condemned Pyongyang's recent rocket launch.
The Security Council also expanded sanctions against the communist country following its December launch, which was seen by the US and North Korea's neighbours as a banned test of long-range missile technology.
North Korea said the rocket put a satellite into space.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
WASHINGTON — Pentagon chief Leon Panetta has lifted the military's ban on women serving in combat, a move that will allow women into hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs, a senior Defense official said Wednesday.
The move, which was recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturns a 1994 rule banning women from such roles, said the Pentagon official speaking on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced publicly.
Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women. It comes after more than 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The official said the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some jobs may open as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.
The official said the military chiefs must report back to Panetta with their initial implementation plans by May 15. The announcement on Panetta's decision is not expected until Thursday.
Panetta's move expands the Pentagon's action nearly a year ago to open about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the Army. This decision could open more than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 1:08 PM
Posted by Steve Douglass at 12:59 PM