North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "made an important decision that will serve as a guiding principle in defending the country's security and sovereignty," the North's official KCNA news agency reported Sunday.
It did not specify what the "important decision" was, only that it came at a meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers Party. Observers speculate that Kim gave the go-ahead for another nuclear test.
On Jan. 26, Kim convened a meeting of a new panel of top security officials and diplomats and pledged "substantial and high-profile state measures." The party commission by contrast is an established organ that at least nominally controls the powerful Army. The regime never before made any meetings of the commission public until long after they were over.
The regime has gradually ratcheted up tensions since the UN Security Council adopted new stricter sanctions against the North on Jan. 23 for its rocket launch in December.
A Unification Ministry official said, "When he was alive, former leader Kim Jong-il was good at 'Salami-slice tactics,' whereby he gradually increased tensions at critical times, and it seems that Kim Jong-un has learned the trick as well."