SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his country’s nuclear weapons made ready for use at a moment’s notice, the country’s official state news agency reported Friday.

Kim also said his country will ready its military so it is prepared to carry out pre-emptive attacks, calling the current situation very precarious, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The threats in the statement are part of the authoritarian nation’s regular propaganda effort to show strength in the face of what it sees as an effort by its enemies South Korea and the United States to overthrow its leaders; it follows harsh U.N. sanctions over the North’s recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch and comes ahead of joint U.S.-South Korean war games this month that the North claims are invasion preparations.

North Korea has threatened nuclear war in the past, but it is unclear just how advanced the country’s nuclear program really is. Pyongyang is thought to have a handful of crude atomic bombs, but there is considerable outside debate about whether it is technologically able to shrink a warhead and mount it on a missile.

“The only way for defending the sovereignty of our nation and its right to existence under the present extreme situation is to bolster up nuclear force both in quality and quantity,” the North’s dispatch Friday said, paraphrasing Kim. It said that Kim stressed “the need to get the nuclear warheads deployed for national defense always on standby so as to be fired any moment.”

On Thursday, North Korea fired six short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast, South Korean officials said, just hours after the U.N. Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on the North in two decades.

The firings also came shortly after South Korea’s National Assembly passed its first legislation on human rights in North Korea.

The North Korean projectiles flew about 60 to 90 miles before landing in the sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.