Kim Jong-un Orders Army to Deter Enemy ‘Provocations’ as US, ROK Launch Biggest Drills in Five Years

People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) and his daughter presumed to be named Ju Ae (R) attending a military parade held in Pyongyang to mark the 75th founding anniversary of its armed forces, at a railway station in Seoul on February 9, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaTensions between North and South Korea have escalated dramatically over the past two years as new administrations in Washington and Seoul undermined the close personal rapport which officials in Pyongyang managed to establish with their predecessors.North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has instructed the Korean People’s Army to step up its deterrence posture in light of dangerous “provocations” by the United States and South Korea.Chairing a meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea’s Central Military Commission, the country’s main military decision-making body, Kim was said to have adopted a series of measures meant to prevent regional tensions from turning into a hot war.“The meeting discussed and adopted important practical steps for making more effective, powerful and offensive use of the nation’s war deterrent in coping with the present situation in which the war provocations of the US and South Korea are reaching the red line,” a North Korean newspaper reported Sunday.The outlet did not elaborate on what these steps might be.Kim Jong-un Orders Army to Deter Enemy ‘Provocations’ as US, ROK Launch Biggest Drills in Five YearsMilitaryKim’s Sister: Pyongyang to View US Attempt to Shoot Down North Korean Missiles as Declaration of War7 March, 10:52 GMTThe meeting comes against the backdrop massive upcoming US-South Korean drills including “Freedom Shield” and “Warrior Shield.” The former, kicking off Monday and running until March 23, will feature command post exercises simulating a joint US-South Korean response to North Korean “aggression.”“The Korea-US alliance will prepare for the Freedom Shield training while maintaining a firm readiness against potential provocations by the North Korean military,” a spokesperson for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said last week.The latter will feature live fire exercises across a broad array of domains including air, land, sea, space, cyber and special operations, and are designed “to further enhance the ROK and US militaries’ cooperation” and “improve upon tactics, techniques and procedures,” according to US Forces Korea.The joint exercises are shaping up to be the largest of their kind since the Foal Eagle drills in 2018, and come less than a week after aerial maneuvers involving nuclear-capable US B-52H and B-1B strategic bombers. Pyongyang responded to those exercises with a series of missile launches and artillery drills.Kim Jong-un Orders Army to Deter Enemy ‘Provocations’ as US, ROK Launch Biggest Drills in Five YearsMilitaryPhotos: Kim Jong-un Observes ‘Actual War Response Posture’ of Rocket Artillery in Massive Drills10 March, 16:48 GMTNorth Korea deems joint exercises between its southern neighbor and the US as a sign of Washington’s aggressive intent. Last week, North Korean deputy foreign minister Kim Song-gyong said the US and South Korea’s “provocative statements and joint military exercises” were responsible for “irresponsibly raising the level of confrontation” on the peninsula.North Korean-South Korean and North Korean-US relations enjoyed a brief thaw in the mid-to-late 2010s after Presidents Kim, Trump and Moon established a close personal rapport which served as the basis for talks on the normalization of relations. This thaw was undermined after the election of President Biden, who attacked Trump for meeting with Kim and dubbed the North Korean leader a “thug,” and collapsed entirely in the spring of 2022 with the election of new South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, whose administration resumed referring to South Korea’s northern neighbor as an “enemy.” North Korean officials have consequently labeled Biden a “rabid dog” who should be “beaten to death with a stick,” and called Yoon’s government “idiots” for thinking they could use new sanctions to “lead the way out of this current perilous situation.”Along with regional tensions, Sunday’s Central Military Commission meeting also discussed other matters, including plans to deploy Korean People’s Army troops to help implement the Party’s plans for rural development and construction, citing the military’s historic “vanguard role in the struggle for implementing the grand practical program of the Party.”Kim Jong-un Orders Army to Deter Enemy ‘Provocations’ as US, ROK Launch Biggest Drills in Five YearsMilitaryDPRK Test-Fires Short-Range Ballistic Missile Into Sea Near China Ahead of Big US-South Korea Drills9 March, 16:24 GMT


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