N. Korea leader urges nuclear readiness

Mar 04, 2016, 3:36 AM EST
Source: Stanford CISAC/flickr
Source: Stanford CISAC/flickr

Kim Jong-un has said North Korea's nuclear weapons should be ready for use "at any time", state media report.

The BBC writes:

He told military leaders North Korea would revise its military posture to be ready to launch pre-emptive strikes, the Korean Central News Agency said. But despite its rhetoric it remains unclear how advanced the North's nuclear weapons programme is. The UN has imposed some of its toughest ever sanctions on the North following its nuclear test and missile launch. In response on Thursday, the North fired six short-range projectiles into the sea. KCNA said Mr Kim was speaking at a military exercise on Thursday, which is thought to be when the projectiles were fired. He said North Korea "must always be ready to fire our nuclear warheads at any time" because enemies were threatening the North's survival. "At an extreme time when the Americans... are urging war and disaster on other countries and people, the only way to defend our sovereignty and right to live is to bolster our nuclear capability," he was quoted as saying.

Al Jazeera reports:

North Korea fired six short-range projectiles into the sea, Seoul officials said, just hours after the UN Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on Pyongyang in two decades for its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. Thursday's launches on Thursday morning also come shortly after Seoul's parliament passed its first legislation on human rights in North Korea. Defence spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said the projectiles were fired from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan, adding that authorities were trying to determine what exactly North Korea fired. The projectiles could be missiles, artillery or rockets, according to the defence ministry. North Korea routinely test-fires missiles and rockets, but it often conducts more weapons launches when angered at international condemnation. Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test in January, making the widely disputed claim that it successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb. Last month, it put a satellite into orbit with a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others see as a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.