North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his army to step up military maneuvers for “real war” during a missile exercise attended by his daughter, the report reported on March 10. Korean agency KCNA.
North Korea should “regularly intensify the various real war simulation exercises, in a diverse manner and in different situations,” Kim Jong Un said, according to Korean news agency KCNA. In addition, the North Korean leader, who oversaw a new military exercise, ordered soldiers to prepare for “two strategic missions: first, to deter war, and second, to initiate war.”
Images released on March 10 by KCNA showed the simultaneous launch of six missiles by the Hwasong unit, trained for “strike missions”, the agency said, adding that the unit “fired a powerful salvo (of missiles) on targeted waters in the West Korean Sea”.
The day before, the South Korean army announced that it had detected the launch of a short-range ballistic missile towards the sea off its west coast, fired from the port city of Nampo, south of Pyongyang. The military exercise comes as Seoul and Washington prepare to conduct their largest joint military exercises in five years on Monday.
Earlier this week, North Korea accused the United States of “intentionally” stoking tensions and Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of Kim Jong Un, warned that if the United States intercepted one of the missiles from Pyongyang, this would be seen as a “declaration of war”. Relations between Pyongyang and Seoul are at a multi-year low, with talks stalled.
Pyongyang annoyed by military maneuvers on its borders
During this military training, the North Korean leader appeared accompanied by his daughter Ju Ae, considered by some analysts to be the future heiress to power. His recent appearance alongside his father at a grand military parade last month, to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the country’s military, had already reignited speculation about a future dynastic handover of power in North Korea. .
“It would seem that Ju Ae’s presence at major events related to the North’s nuclear development and its missiles – which Pyongyang deems to be of crucial use for the country’s future generations – has become the norm,” he said. AFP Yang Moo-jin, president of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
North Korea has long claimed that its ballistic and nuclear programs are for self-defense. She also condemned the recent joint exercises by Seoul and Washington, considering them as dress rehearsals for an invasion of her territory.
The North Korean air force is the weakest link in its military apparatus, according to experts, who believe that the March 9 drills are proof that Pyongyang is seeking to fill this weakness. “North Korea’s latest maneuvers, like many of the previous ones, are aimed at preventing South Korean warplanes from taking off,” defector Ahn Chan-il, director of the institute, told AFP. World of North Korean Studies.