Seoul: North Korea told its military on Sunday to become ‘human rifles and bombs’ to defend new leader Kim Jong-Un and vowed an all-out push for prosperity, in a New Year message setting out policy goals.

"The entire army should place absolute trust in and follow Kim Jong-Un and become human rifles and bombs to defend him unto death..." an editorial in official newspapers said, a day after the late leader's young son was proclaimed supreme military commander.

Jong-Un visited a tank division on New Year's Day, the state KCNA news agency said, accompanied by his influential uncle Jang Song-Thaek, military chief Ri Yong-Ho and other military leaders.

"The whole party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they will become human bulwarks and human shields in defending Kim Jong-Un unto death, and follow the great party forever," the report said.

Jong-Un, aged in his late 20s, was swiftly proclaimed the ‘great successor’ after his father and longtime leader Kim Jong-Il died on December 17.

On Saturday the North announced he had formally been appointed supreme commander of the 1.2-million-strong military, the world's fourth-largest.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, whose country is the North's main ally and economic prop, sent Jong-Un ‘warm congratulations’ on assuming the military leadership, KCNA said on Sunday.

The North, closing ranks publicly behind its new leader, has warned the world not to expect policy changes and has threatened South Korea for perceived disrespect during the 13-day mourning period for Kim Jong-Il.

(Agencies)