North Korea’s Kim calls for boosting missile launch vehicle production -KCNA

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for boosting production of various missile launch vehicles, calling it an important task to prepare for a “military showdown” with the enemy, state media reported on Friday.

Visiting a transporter erector launcher (TEL) manufacturing factory, Kim said producing various vehicles for tactical and strategic weapons was a key task in bolstering the nuclear war deterrent of the country, KCNA news agency reported.

“Stressing that the factory’s position and role are very important … given the prevailing grave situation that requires the country to be more firmly prepared for a military showdown with the enemy, he indicated the tasks to be fulfilled by the factory,” KCNA said.

The state media report comes hours after the White House said on Thursday that North Korea recently provided Russia with ballistic missiles and launchers for use in Moscow’s war against Ukraine, some of which Russia has fired into Ukraine.

Washington has for months accused Pyongyang of supplying military equipment to Moscow in return for Russia’s technical support to help the North advance its military capabilities.

North Korea has denied it transfers arms to Moscow.

During a key party meeting last week, Kim ordered his country’s military, munitions industry and nuclear weapons sector to accelerate war preparations, as he said U.S. policy was making a war inevitable.

“(Kim) specified the immediate plan for production of varieties of TELs, long-term production plan and task of production capacity,” KCNA said.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Editing by Sandra Maler)