Leader Kim Jong Un has called for the strengthening of North Korea’s war deterrence in a “more practical and offensive” manner in a meeting with senior military officials to discuss the country’s preparations for conflict, according to state media.
The meeting of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party on Monday came amid heightened tensions as the pace of joint military drills by the United States and South Korea have intensified.
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North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said the commission’s members met to discuss ongoing efforts to boost the country’s war deterrent to “cope with the escalating moves of the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet traitors to unleash a war of aggression”.
Washington and Seoul have described their exercises as defensive in nature and said the expansion of drills is necessary to cope with Pyongyang’s expanding nuclear and missile programmes.
Kim reviewed North Korea’s front-line attack plans as well as various combat documents and stressed the need to bolster his nuclear deterrent with “increasing speed on a more practical and offensive” manner, KCNA said.
The meeting also “discussed practical matters and measures for machinery to prepare various military action proposals that no means and ways of counteraction are available to the enemy,” it added.
The US and South Korean militaries conducted their biggest field exercises in years last month. They also held joint naval and air force drills involving an American aircraft carrier strike group and nuclear-capable bombers.
KCNA claimed the “frantic” drills simulated an “all-out war against” North Korea and communicated threats to occupy Pyongyang and decapitate its leadership.
Pyongyang has fired about 30 missiles in 11 different launch events this year, including intercontinental ballistic missiles that demonstrated the potential range to reach the US mainland and several shorter-range weapons designed to deliver nuclear strikes on South Korean targets.
North Korea also unveiled new, smaller nuclear warheads and tested what it called a nuclear-capable underwater attack drone.
Nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since 2019 over disagreements in exchanging crippling US-led sanctions and North Korea’s steps to wind down its nuclear weapons programme.