The North Korean military said it was ready to take "unprecedented" action against South Korea. A special operation would "soon … reduce its target to ashes," the BBC reports.
South Korea last week announced it had deployed missiles with a range of 625 miles. The weapons would be able to strike nuclear targets inside North Korea. Pyongyang, meanwhile, staged demonstrations calling for the death of the South Korea president, the BBC adds.
Tensions with North Korea eased earlier this year when the government placed a moratorium on missile tests and nuclear activity in exchange for substantial food assistance from the United States. That deal collapsed after North Korea tried to send an Earth observation satellite into orbit using a long-range rocket.
The launch was scheduled to coincide with what would have been the 100th birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. Pyongyang said Seoul had issued insulting marks during the commemorations.
"Those actions are an eruption of the public anger and resentment and a sacred war of all service personnel and people to protect the dignity of our supreme leadership," the North Korean government said.