North Korean leader orders nuclear arsenal to be on standby
Earnest March 4, 2016
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered North Korea's nuclear arsenal to be
ready for pre-emptive use at any time, in an expected escalation of
military rhetoric following the UN Security Council's adoption of tough
new sanctions on Pyongyang.
The North's nuclear warheads must be
deployed "on standby so as to be fired at any moment," Kim was quoted as
saying by the North's official KCNA news agency on Friday.
also warned that the situation on the divided Korean peninsula had
become so dangerous that the North needed to shift its military strategy
to one of "pre-emptive attack".
While the North is known to have a small stockpile of nuclear warheads, Washington downplayed Kim's threat as posturing.
have not seen North Korea test or demonstrate the ability to
miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an ICBM (intercontinental
ballistic missile)," a US defense official said AFP.
Still, the official added, "our forces are ready to counter-eliminate strikes if necessary."
Also on Friday, North Korea rejected the UN Security Council's tough
sanctions as "unfair, illicit and immoral" and vowed to keep building
its nuclear arsenal.
"The strengthening of our nuclear deterrent
is a legitimate exercise of our right to self-defense, which will
continue as long as the hostile US policy is in place," the foreign
ministry said in a statement published by state media. Add