"We must always be ready to fire our nuclear warheads at any time," Kim was quoted as saying by a news agency today.

Kim 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, experts are divided about its ability to mount them on a working missile delivery system.

According to media reports, Kim made his comments while monitoring the test firing of a new, high-calibre multiple rocket launcher yesterday, just hours after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution penalising the North for its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

In a clear threat to neighbouring South Korea, Kim said the new rocket launcher should be 'promptly deployed' along with other newly developed weaponry.

"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," Kim said.

The US-drafted UN resolution adopted by the Security Council late Wednesday laid out the toughest sanctions imposed on Pyongyang to date over its nuclear weapons programme that will, if implemented effectively, apply significant economic pressure to Kim's regime.

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