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Kim Jong-un orders proactive military stance for warBy Shin Ji-hye
Published : Aug. 10, 2023 - 14:41
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for proactive military readiness in a move seen as a show of willingness to respond to an upcoming joint South Korea-US military exercise scheduled from Aug. 21 to 24.
In response, the South Korean government has accused the North of making false claims and insisted that the nation's resources be directed toward the livelihood of its people, instead of military pursuits.
The state news agency, the Korean Central News Agency, reported Thursday that the regime held its seventh Enlarged Meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea to analyze "the military moves of the culprits of a deteriorated situation that disturb peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and its vicinity.”
The news agency added that the regime had decided on plans for “offensive military countermeasures to thoroughly deter them.”
The KCNA said the “hostile forces are getting ever more brazen in their reckless military confrontation,” forcing the North to take a more positive and proactive stance and to pursue “perfect military readiness for a war.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that to “prepare a strong army” is the key to implementing the strategic plan of the Party Central Committee for containing the enemy’s use of force in advance and “neutralize all forms of attack immediately in case of war,” according to the news agency.
Kim called for “securing more powerful strike measures for carrying out the mission of war deterrence” and continuously intensifying work for deploying units for action. He also called for “actively conducting war drills” to efficiently operate newly deployed weapons and equipment to ensure that they would have the maximum effect in combat.
Kim emphasized the need of “further stepping up the war preparations of the Korean People's Army in a proactive way,” it said.
At the meeting, the regime’s Chief of the General Staff Park Su-il was dismissed and was replaced by Gen. Ri Yong-gil, who served in the same position from 2018 to 2019 and later served as social security and defense minister.
In response to the news reports, an official from the South Korean Ministry of Unification told reporters on the condition of anonymity, “The fact is that it is the North Korean authorities who threaten peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula ... and we condemn North Korea's talk of war preparations and mass production of armed equipment while making false claims.”
“North Korea must realize that the more it prepares for war and increases its armed forces, the more it will only become weaker in the face of stronger Korea-US extended deterrence and overwhelming responses,” the official said. “The scarce goods should be used to take care of the livelihood of the North Korean people, not used for useless military reinforcements or military parades.”
North Korea is expected to launch high-intensity provocations during the upcoming Korea-US-Japan summit at Camp David in Maryland next week and the Korea-US joint military exercises, Ulchi Freedom Shield, later this month.
The possibility of relaunching a military reconnaissance satellite, which failed in its first launch at the end of May, has also been raised. Previously, Kim’s sister Kim Yo-jong announced the relaunch of a reconnaissance satellite through a discourse in June.
Amid continued threats from the North, South Korea is solidifying its security cooperation with the US and Japan.
John Kirby, NSC coordinator for strategic communications, said Wednesday that the upcoming trilateral summit will be of historic importance to the region and the entire world, highlighting the importance of a strong trilateral relationship between the countries.
President Yoon will meet with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a trilateral summit on Aug. 18.
“The president is looking forward to hosting both of these leaders -- Prime Minister Kishida and President Yoon -- at Camp David for what we believe will be a discussion of historic proportions, in terms of the importance of this trilateral relationship to the Indo-Pacific region and, frankly, to the world," the NSC coordinator told a virtual press briefing.
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