North Korea leader Kim Jong Un discussed a plan to strike South Korea, dialing up tensions days before its neighbor holds joint military drills with American forces and its president meets the leaders of the US and Japan.
(Bloomberg) — North Korea leader Kim Jong Un discussed a plan to strike South Korea, dialing up tensions days before its neighbor holds joint military drills with American forces and its president meets the leaders of the US and Japan.
Kim “called for securing more powerful strike means for carrying out the mission of war deterrence,” at a meeting of the Central Military Commission of his ruling Workers’ Party, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday.
The state’s propaganda apparatus released a photo of Kim pointing to the Seoul region on a map at the meeting that drew up “plans for offensive military countermeasures” to deter its enemies as the US and South Korea prepare for joint military drills that Pyongyang has long called a preparation for an invasion.
North Korea usually steps up its bellicose language ahead of joint military exercises. In recent years, Kim has conducted provocations designed to coincide with the drills, increasing the likelihood he could conduct weapons tests as the two hold their Ulchi Freedom Shield exercises later this month.
President Joe Biden is expected to discuss ways to deter North Korea from using its atomic arsenal when he meets South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Aug. 18 at the Camp David retreat in rural Maryland.
The event could be one of the most significant security discussions among the three leaders. They have all backed a tough line against Pyongyang, shown concern about China’s increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and denounced Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
At an April meeting at the White House with Yoon, Biden warned Kim that the use of atomic weapons would be suicidal for his regime and pledged US nuclear assets, such as aircraft carrier groups and submarines with ballistic missiles, would be sent to the region in a show of force.
Read: Six Takeaways from White House Visit by South Korea’s Yoon
North Korean state media over the weekend showed Kim visiting key facilities making the weapons for his war machine. The US has warned that Pyongyang is sending munitions to its long-time Russian partner to aid in President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Kim was joined by high-level delegations from Russia and China at a military parade in Pyongyang on July 27 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of Korean War fighting where he showed off his newest missile designed to deliver a nuclear warhead to the US.
–With assistance from Se Young Lee.
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