South Korea's Yonhap News Agency quoted Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main Communist newspaper, as saying in a political review the country should have ICBMs to strengthen its self-defense.
The Communist newspaper, in an apparent reference to the United States, said if the "imperialist" has a nuclear arsenal, ICBMs and other types of space-bound weapons, North Korea should have them as well. The newspaper, described as generally reflecting state policy, said the North's nuclear capability is a justifiable choice.
The North conducted an underground nuclear test Tuesday, its third such test, despite existing U.N. sanctions imposed in response to its first two tests in 2006 and 2009.
Those sanctions were further tightened last month after the North fired a long-range rocket Dec. 12, which was seen as a cover to test its intercontinental ballistic missile capability.
Yonhap quoted experts as saying the Unha-3 rocket launched Dec. 12 effectively had a range of an ICBM of nearly 7,000 miles.
The Rodong Sinmun article said the North would be a merciless adversary if it is challenged and there "can be no compromise in the last fight to herald the victory for independence for humanity and strike a blow to end imperialism."
Separately, the North's official Korean Central News Agency has already warned the situation on the Korean Peninsula has become so precarious even a small regional incident can lead to full-fledged war.