Leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered North Korea’s nuclear arsenal to be readied 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.

He 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”.

Such bellicose rhetoric is almost routine for North Korea at times of elevated tensions.

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