North Korea, Be Ready to Use Nuclear Weapons Any Time: Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at any time and to turn its military posture to “pre-emptive attack” mode in the face of growing threats from its enemies, state media said on Friday.
The comments, carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, marked a further escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula after the UN Security Council on Wednesday imposed harsh new sanctions against the isolated state for its nuclear programme.
Kim made the comments as he supervised military exercises involving newly developed rocket launchers, KCNA reported. It did not mention the date of the drills but said the new weapons had South Korea within range.
South Korea’s defence ministry said, on Thursday, North Korea launched several projectiles off its coast into the sea up to 150 kilometres (90 miles) away, an apparent response to the UN sanctions.
North Korea should bolster up (its) nuclear force both in quality and quantity and the need to get the nuclear warheads deployed for national defence always on standby so as to be fired any moment. Now is the time for us to convert our mode of military counteraction toward the enemies into an preemptive attack one in every aspect.Kim Jong Un, North Korean leader told KCNA
North Korea has previously threatened pre-emptive attacks on its enemies including South Korea, Japan and the United States. Military experts doubt it has yet developed the capability to fire a long-range missile with a miniaturised warhead to deliver a nuclear weapon as far as the United States.
“We urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions that aggravate tensions and instead focus on fulfilling its international obligations and commitments,” said Commander Bill Urban, a US Defence Department spokesman, responding to the report.