North Korean Military Ordered to Step It Up

Kim wants more combat exercises and greater war preparedness
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2023 6:40 PM CST
Kim Tells Military to Improve War Readiness
People walk past a banner Monday marking the 75th birthday of the Korean People's Army in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his military to expand combat exercises and strengthen war preparedness as he looks to escalate an already provocative run in weapons demonstrations in the face of deepening tensions with the US and neighbors, especially South Korea. Kim presided over a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party’s Central Military Commission on Monday and encouraged the armed forces to perform "ever-victorious feats" and display "matchless military strength" to open a new phase in development, the country's official Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday, per the AP.

The commission's members discussed a series of tasks aimed at inducing "great change" in the military, including "constantly expanding and intensifying the operation and combat drills" and "more strictly perfecting the preparedness for war," the agency said. The meeting came amid signs that North Korea is preparing a massive military parade in the capital Pyongyang to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army, which falls on Wednesday. Kim may use the event to showcase the latest hardware from his growing nuclear weapons and missile program that's brewing concern for the US and its allies in Asia.

The comments from the meeting are the latest warning from Pyongyang that it's preparing to intensify its military demonstrations following a record-breaking year in missile testing. The warnings are in part a response to the US expanding military drills with South Korea, which the allies have said are aimed at countering the North's evolving threat. Experts say Kim’s weapons tests and threats are aimed at forcing the US to accept North Korea as a nuclear power, per the AP, which Pyongyang sees as a way to negotiate economic and political concessions.

(Read more North Korean military stories.)

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