SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of plotting a war to occupy the communist state and said it has "unlimited striking power" to repel any aggressors.
North Korea "is neither Afghanistan nor Yugoslavia nor Iraq," said Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party.
The United States has conducted air strikes in those three countries, the latest coming in Afghanistan after Taliban rulers refused to hand over Usama bin Laden.
President Bush has warned North Korea and Iraq that they would face consequences if they produce weapons of mass destruction. North Korea also is on a U.S. list of nations sponsoring terrorism.
In his State of the Union speech last week, Bush said North Korea was part of an "axis of evil" with Iran and Iraq.
North Korea said Bush's remark was "little short of declaring a war."
"[Bush] openly revealed his dangerous design to seize North Korea by forces of arms, groundlessly linking it with terrorism," said the Rodong article, which was carried by the North's state-run news agency, KCNA, and monitored in Seoul.
The "option to 'strike' on the lips of the U.S. is not its monopoly," it said. "Our revolutionary armed forces have unlimited striking power and no aggressor against North Korea will go safe no matter where they are on earth."
North Korea is believed to have stockpiled enough plutonium to make one or two atomic bombs and thousands of tons of chemical and biochemical weapons.
The United States keeps 37,000 troops in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended without a peace treaty. The Koreas share one of the world's most heavily armed borders.