Kim Jong-un orders North Korea to prepare ‘offensive’ nuclear capabilities

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his military to hasten “practical and offensive” war capabilities due to the “ever-worsening security” on the Korean peninsula in the face of US-South Korea military exercises.

Mr Kim held a high-level meeting with ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission and commanding officers of the Korean People’s Army on Monday.

The North Korean leader was pictured pointing to areas on a blurred map that appeared to be of South Korea as he reviewed “frontline attack operation plans” as well as various combat documents, state media Rodong Sinmun reported.

The meeting was held to discuss the “serious present security situation in the Korean Peninsula” as the “aggressive military policy and actions of the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet traitors are emerging as a threatening entity”, official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Tuesday.

Pyongyang has ramped up a pressure campaign on South Korea by cutting off communication links since last week. South Korea said that North did not respond to its calls placed over inter-Korean liaison and military hotlines for the fifth consecutive day.

North Korea condemned the “frantic” military drills by US and South Korean armies and said it considered the exercises a simulation of an “all-out war”.

Tensions have been also ratcheted up after the US, Japan, and South Korea held anti-submarine drills in waters off the South Korean Island of Jeju earlier this month.

“And they clearly showed their sinister true colours for aggression while making reckless remarks for the confrontation with the DPRK and deliberately inciting the military actions for attack,” it said referring to North Korea’s formal name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Kim Jong-un reviewed country’s frontline attack plans and various combat documents during the meeting

(KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image)

The response to joint drills also included an underwater nuclear attack drone test that it said could cause a “radioactive tsunami”, a claim over which South Korea’s military and experts have raised doubts.

South Korean unification minister Kwon Young-se said communication links with North were still silent and expressed “strong regret” over its neighbour’s “unilateral and irresponsible attitude” for pausing the hotline.

He also warned of unspecified legal action over North Korea’s use of South Korean assets at a now-shuttered joint factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong.

South Korea recently urged North to stop using its assets which were left behind after it pulled its companies out of Kaesong in 2016 in protest to North’s nuclear test. It objected after North Korean media recently showed what appeared to be South Korean commuter buses running in the streets of Kaesong and Pyongyang.

The hotlines were set up between the two countries in 2018 to prevent accidental clashes along the rivals’ sea borders.

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