Kim Jong Un on Thursday urged North Korea to expedite war preparations amid escalating tensions with the United States.
What Happened: Kim commanded the nation’s military, nuclear weaponry, and munitions departments to expedite war preparations in response to what he describes as unprecedented provocative steps taken by Washington.
“He (Kim) set forth the militant tasks for the People’s Army and the munitions industry, nuclear weapons and [civil defense] sectors to further accelerate the war preparations, on the basis of in-depth analysis of the grave political and military situation in the Korean peninsula which reached extreme due to the anti-DPRK confrontation moves of the U.S. and its vassal forces unprecedented in history,” the state-owned media KCNA reported.
The leader of the isolated nation also underscored the urgency to stabilize farming production in light of the country’s ongoing food crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there was an increase in crop yield in 2023, it was insufficient to resolve the nation’s chronic food problems.
Why It Matters: These developments came up as the Workers’ Party of Korea initiated its 9th plenary meeting of the 8th central committee, a forum frequently used for significant policy declarations in recent years.
Meanwhile, Kim on Wednesday acknowledged notable advancements in armament development during the party gathering, reflecting on the nation’s accomplishments in 2023 and outlining policy goals for 2024.
In response to mounting military threats from North Korea, South Korea also announced plans to acquire 20 more stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT to bolster its defense capabilities.
While the U.S. accuses North Korea of supplying military equipment to Moscow for the Ukraine conflict, North Korea has been enhancing ties with Russia and others. In return, Russia has been helping North Korea in improving its military prowess. Earlier this month, North Korea tested a ballistic missile that was reportedly capable of reaching the U.S., further straining the relations between the two countries.
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