North Korean leader urges enhanced combat readiness
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has called on the country’s army to increase its combat readiness ahead of upcoming annual joint military exercises by South Korea and the United States.
During an address to the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party on Monday, the North Korean leader said the army needed to “focus all its efforts on rounding off combat readiness.”
According to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), he said that the army should be “fully ready to react to any form of war to be ignited by the enemy.”
Kim also said it was necessary to simplify the machinery of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
The remarks by Kim come after a North Korean military drill on February 21, which simulated an attack and capture of a front-line island in South Korea.
Earlier this month, the Workers’ Party stressed the need to develop accurate “powerful, cutting edge military hardware” that would be essential to “cope with modern warfare.”
North Korea earlier test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile as South Korea and the United States started a three-day joint naval drill.
The annual US-South Korea military exercises begin in February every year and last until April 18. More than 12,500 US troops take part in the exercises.
Pyongyang says that the military exercises are a practice for invasion, and that the country will take every measure to demonstrate its might as long as threats from the US persist.