North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday ordered his country to be ready to use nuclear weapons "at any time" in the face of a growing threat from enemies, Reuters reported, citing official North Korea media.

The dictator's directives came as he supervised the exercise of newly developed multiple rocket launchers.

Kim also said his country should turn its military posture to a "pre-emptive basis" because enemies are threatening the state's survival, the official North Korean KCNA news agency said.

He did not specify who these “enemies” are, but the isolated country's biggest enemy is its neighbor to the south. North Korea considers the United States to be an enemy as well due to Washington's support of South Korea.

Kim's threats came one day after the UN adopted the toughest sanctions to date on North Korea, in response to its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.

The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution imposing new sanctions after seven weeks of arduous negotiations between the United States and China, Pyongyang's sole ally.

On January 6, North Korea carried out a nuclear test and claimed to have been testing a hydrogen bomb. Weeks later it launched a long-range rocket, in violation of earlier UN sanctions.