Seoul:South Korea on Monday warned against North Korea's possible launch of a long-range missile, saying it would bring stronger sanctions and pressure from the international community.
North Korea will bring about pressure and sanctions if it launches an intercontinental ballistic missile, Xinhua news agency quoted Seoul's unification ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee as saying.
The ministry's remarks comes after North Korea has announced to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile "anytime and anywhere".
Pyongyang has also accused the US of spurring on its nuclear development programme, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, as cited by official news agency KCNA on Monday.
While Jeong urged Pyongyang to return to the denuclearization path that would benefit North Korea itself, the communist nation said the missile programme was part of North Korea's response to the "increasingly perverse nuclear threat" posed by the US.
According to the Seoul ministry, there has been no specific sign detected yet of North Korea's possible missile test-launches.
South Korea's military said it was closely watching whether North Korea would test-launch its long-range missile.
Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun said Seoul's military was closely trailing and monitoring Pyongyang's possible launch of intercontinental missile such as KN-08 or its enhanced version KN-14.
He said North Korea may use a variety of events to celebrate anniversaries scheduled for this year.
Top North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in his new year's speech that Pyongyang entered a final stage in preparations to test-launch a long-range ballistic rocket.
The Defence Ministry spokesperson expressed regrets over the leader's remarks violating the UN Security Council resolutions, which prohibit the country from testing any ballistic missile technology.