N Korea’s Kim chairs key military meeting on ‘war deterrent’

Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Sunday that two meetings had been held on Saturday with CMC Vice-Chairman Ri Pyong Chol, members of the CMC and commanding officers of the armed forces, during which Kim discussed “the key issues of further bolstering a war deterrent of the country.”

First, at an enlarged meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), Kim led discussions on ways to promote the education and guidance of commanders and army officials.

An organizational matter was tabled at the meeting on dismissing or appointing commanding officers of major posts at institutions related to the armed forces, the KCNA reported.

This image, released by the KCNA, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presiding over a high-level military meeting in Pyongyang on July 18, 2020. 

After the enlarged meeting, there was a closed-door meeting of senior officials and military commanders, who examined “the strategic mission of the major units for coping with the military situation in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula and the potential military threat,” the report added.

Kim signed orders to execute “major key munitions production plan indices” and other measures approved at the meetings, KCNA reported.

KCNA said the measures that had been approved at the meetings were a “historic decision” that would guarantee the future of the country’s self-reliance ideology “with reliable military muscle.”

North Korea’s hardening of stance comes amid reports Pyongyang has dismissed the possibility of fresh talks with the US on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Since 2006, Washington has imposed rounds of unilateral sanctions and spearheaded international sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs, which the North views as deterrent against military threats. 

Kim has met with US President Donald Trump three times since 2018, but the talks have hit a deadlock as Washington refused to ease the sanctions on the North.

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