A woman watches the news at a station in Seoul, South Korea, 13 March 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/JEON HEON-KYUN

Kim urges ‘offensive’ expansion of North Korean war deterrence

Seoul, Apr 11 (EFE).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has urged his army’s war deterrence capacity to be bolstered in a “practical and offensive” way “to cope” with the large-scale military exercises that South Korea and United States are holding, and which Pyongyang views as an “escalation.”

A combination photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows the testing of an underwater strategic weapon system by a national defence science research institute in North Korea, 04-07 April 2023. (issued 08 April 2023). EFE-EPA FILE/KCNA EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Kim’s comments came during an extended meeting of the Central Military Commission held in Pyongyang on Monday, the state agency KCNA reported Tuesday.

US soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division participate in the joint Freedom Shield (FS) exercise with South Korean soldiers in Paju, South Korea, 16 March 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/Chung Sung-Jun / POOL

He stressed the need for “the DPRK’s war deterrence being strengthened with increasing speed on a more practical and offensive (way) and to effectively apply it as a measure for more strict control and management of the ever-worsening security on the Korean Peninsula.”

The meeting also discussed ways to “prepare various military action proposals that (ensure) no means and ways of counteraction are available to the enemy.”

In photos published by KCNA, Kim is seen pointing to a map that, despite being blurred out on purpose, appears to be of South Korea.

Specifically, Kim seems to be pointing to the area of Camp Humphreys, the largest US base in the Asian country about 60 kilometers south of Seoul.

The meeting, which coincided with the 11th anniversary of Kim’s appointment to head the North Korean Workers’ Party, came at a time when the “US imperialists and the south Korean puppet traitors are getting ever more undisguised in their moves for a war of aggression,” KCNA said.

Since March, Seoul and Washington have been carrying out major military drills that have included the participation of US strategic assets such as bombers and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

Pyongyang has responded by testing various types of missiles and even an underwater nuclear drone.

It has also revealed for the first time that it possesses tactical nuclear warheads, underscoring that it is willing to further refine its short-range arsenal for potential use in South Korea and other nearby countries such as Japan, which also has US bases. EFE