North Korea: Kim Jong Un’s daughter appears at military parade
Kim Jong-un has ordered the production of missiles and other munitions needs to be ramped up to ensure the country is ready to “annihilate” its enemies.
The Korean Central News Agency reported the rogue leader had ordered one of his missile factories to “drastically boost” production capabilities to match the needs of front-line military unities during a weekend tour of munition facilities.
According to the agency, Kim insisted that “the qualitative level of war preparations depends on the development of the munitions industry and the factory bears a very important responsibility in speeding up the war preparations of the (North) Korean People’s Army.”
He also insisted that North Korea needs to have “an overwhelming military force and get fully prepared for coping with any war” and must have the power to “surely annihilate” hostile powers.
The push for more munitions comes a week after Kim urged his soldiers to “gird for war”.
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During his tour of military factories on Friday and Saturday, the North Korean dictator highlighted the need for weapons manufacturers to boost the production of large-calibre multiple rocket launcher shells.
Kim’s hostile turn comes as the Biden Administration continues to struggle to reinforce diplomatic challenges with Pyongyang.
Relations between the two nations appeared to thaw under the leadership of Donald Trump, who was the first US president to meet with Kim and to step into North Korea in June 2019.
But diplomatic strategies appeared to collapse following the departure of Trump and analysts have now suggested Kim could use his reinforced military and nuclear arsenal to secure concessions from Washington.
And as the US and ally South Korea prepare to start joint military drills this week, North Korea is expected to carry out additional weapons tests to show off its prowess.
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Pyongyang has long made unsubstantiated claims suggesting Seoul and Washington’s military exercises are part of preparations to attack North Korea.
The claims have repeatedly been denied by both countries.
The upcoming drills are computer-simulated exercises and will help reinforce the two countries’ response capabilities, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesperson, Col. Lee Sung-jun.
Col. Isaac L. Taylor, a spokesperson for the US military, also noted that the drills are designed to be “a tough and realistic exercise.”
Earlier this month, the White House said US intelligence officials had determined that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to North Korean officials during a visit to Pyongyang last month about increasing the sale of munitions to Moscow for its war in Ukraine.
North Korea has denied American claims that it shipped artillery shells and ammunition to Russia.
But the North has publicly supported Russia over the war and hinted at sending workers to help rebuild Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine.
Kim has been trying to beef up ties with China and Russia in the face of US-led pressure campaigns over its nuclear program and pandemic-related economic difficulties.
KCNA said Monday that 200-some hectares of farmland in North Korea’s eastern region were flooded because of Tropical Storm Khanun.
Kim visited typhoon-hit areas, called for immediate steps to protect crops there and criticized local officials for failing to prevent the farmlands’ flooding, the report said.
North Korea is prone to weather-related disasters such as flooding and droughts.
Observers say North Korea’s food shortage has worsened due to several reasons including draconian pandemic restrictions, unsuccessful attempts to supply grain via state-run facilities and dwindling personal incomes.
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