The comments by the North Korean leader, reported by state media, come just days after the UN Security Council imposed tough sanctions on Pyongyang for carrying out a nuclear test in January in which North Korea claimed to have successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb in an underground facility.
Kim said North Korea should “bolster up (its) nuclear force both in quality and quantity,” while also stressing “the need to get the nuclear warheads deployed for national defense always on standby so as to be fired any moment,” KCNA quoted him as saying, as cited by Reuters.
“Now is the time for us to convert our mode of military counteraction toward the enemies into a pre-emptive attack one in every aspect,” Kim added.
Kim is believed to have made the comments as he supervised military exercises, which involved assessing newly-developed rocket launchers. His alarming statements also come a day after South Korea accused Pyongyang of firing a series of missiles from its east coast into the sea.
South Korean defense spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said the projectiles were launched from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan on Thursday. Meanwhile, an unnamed official from Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff mentioned that the missiles flew about 100 to 150km before coming down in the Sea of Japan, or East Sea as it is called in South Korea, according to the AP.