North Korea has threatened unspecified "powerful" measures over a U.S. plan to deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea.

Monday's statement is filled with the kind of belligerent, over-the-top rhetoric that meets anything Pyongyang sees as an external threat.

A direct military attack from Pyongyang's large but impoverished military is highly unlikely.

The North's military statement, carried in state media, came three days after Seoul and Washington said they were close to determining a location in South Korea for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system to better deal with North Korean threats.

The statement carried one of the North's favorite, oft-repeated threats: To turn Seoul into a "sea of fire." This has been a regular warning since 1994.