Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities, state media said Friday, as he wrapped up a key party meeting with top military officials sparked amid concerns over a possible nuclear test.
The meeting was closely watched amid growing speculation that Pyongyang could conduct its first nuclear test in five years, which US and South Korean officials say could now take place “any moment.”
Kim chaired the three-day expanded meeting of the 8th Central Military Commission that ended on Thursday, where top officials “examined and approved an important issue of providing a military guarantee to further strengthen the country’s war deterrent,” according to official KCNA officials. media.
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The KCNA report did not directly mention North Korea’s nuclear or ballistic missile program, but said Ri Pyong Chol, who has led missile development in the north, has been elected as vice chairman of the party’s powerful Central Military Commission. .
“(Kim) emphasized the need for the entire military to … in every way consolidate its powerful self-defense capabilities for overpowering enemy forces,” KCNA said.
During the meeting, North Korea rarely mentioned the revision of its war plans and said it had decided to bolster the operational tasks of its frontline units with “a major military action plan”.
State media released a photo on Thursday of the north’s top officials meeting with a map of what appeared to be the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula.
In April, Kim called on the country’s military to “strengthen their strength in every possible way to destroy the enemy”.
North Korea has tested an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles this year, including massive intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), new hypersonic missiles and a short-range missile that may be designed for tactical nuclear weapons.
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