North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at any time and to turn its military posture to “pre-emptive attack” mode in the face of growing threats from its enemies, state media said on Friday.

The comments, carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, marked a further escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula after the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday imposed harsh new sanctions against the isolated state for its nuclear program.

Kim made the comments as he supervised military exercises involving newly developed rocket launchers, KCNA reported. It did not mention the date of the drills but said the new weapons had South Korea within range.

South Korea’s defense ministry said on Thursday North Korea launched several projectiles off its coast into the sea up to 150 kilometers (90 miles) away, an apparent response to the U.N. sanctions.

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Image courtesy of Reuters

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