A bizarre propaganda video showing military dogs attacking an enemy politician has been aired by the North Korean state broadcaster.
The video shows military-trained German Shepherds mauling an effigy of South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin.
North Korea, led by 30-year-old supreme leader Kim Jong-un, has been issuing vitriolic threats of war against the United States and South Korea since the United Nations imposed sanctions in response to the north's third nuclear test in February.
In the latest attempt at stirring the masses, the military dogs were also seen jumping through hoops of fire as they were put through their paces.
North Korean troops were also seen using the defence minister's face for target practice, and in the end the effigy is destroyed with a rocket launcher.
The video was released as the US announced it would delay a missile test in the area, to avoid increasing tensions further.
Pyongyang's anger appears heightened by US-South Korean joint-military exercises. But most analysts say it has no intention of starting a conflict that would bring its own destruction and instead is out to wring concessions from a nervous international community.
China is also facing increasing criticism from influential political voices in Washington who blamed North Korea's closest ally for not doing enough to avert the danger of conflagration.
China, North Korea's sole financial and diplomatic backer, has shown growing irritation with Pyongyang's warnings of nuclear war.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressing the Bo'ao Forum on the southern island of Hainan, did not name North Korea but said no country "should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain".
Stability in Asia, he said, "faces new challenges, as hot spot issues keep emerging and both traditional and non-traditional security threats exist".
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed similar frustration in a statement late on Saturday.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has begun an official tour of China and met the Chinese president yesterday.
He played down comments suggesting New Zealand would follow its historic allies into a war against North Korea, but wouldn't rule it out in a worst-case scenario.