Saturday June 03, 2023

North Korea’s Kim orders intensified ‘real war’ drills

March 11, 2023

SEOUL: Kim Jong Un ordered North Korea´s military to intensify drills for a “real war”, state media reported on Friday, as the leader oversaw a fire assault drill with his daughter in tow.

Photographs showed Kim and his daughter, both wearing matching black jackets, accompanied by uniformed officers as they watched an artillery unit fire a volley of missiles on Thursday.

The South Korean military said yesterday it had detected the launch of one ballistic missile and was analysing the possibility of multiple launches from the same location. Photographs released on Friday by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) showed at least six missiles being fired at the same time by the Hwasong unit, which it said is trained for “strike missions”.

The unit “fired a powerful volley at the targeted waters in the West Sea of Korea”, KCNA said. While inspecting the drills, Kim told soldiers to be prepared for “two strategic missions, that is, first to deter war and second to take the initiative in war”, according to KCNA.

Such units should be “steadily intensifying various simulated drills for real war in a diverse way in different situations”, he added. The drill came as South Korea and the United States prepared to kick off on Monday their largest joint exercises in five years.

Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their worst points in decades, with the nuclear-armed North conducting ever more provocative banned weapons tests while the South ramps up security cooperation with Washington in response.