North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un has vowed to enhance North Korea’s nuclear arsenal in ‘more practical and offensive’ ways to counter what he called ‘frantic’ moves of aggression by the US and South Korea.
His comments came as he met with senior military officials on Monday to discuss ongoing efforts to‘cope with the escalating moves of the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet traitors to unleash a war of aggression’, state media KCNA said.
Pyongyang has reacted with fury at the series of joint military exercises held by Washington and Seoul in recent weeks, which KCNA said were intended to prepare for ‘an all-out war’.
Kim was seen touching nuclear warheads as he chatted with army chiefs, who were ordered to bolster the North’s deterrence capabilities with ‘increasing speed’ and in a ‘more practical and offensive’ manner.
The US and South Korean militaries conducted their biggest field exercises in years last month and separately held joint naval and air force drills involving a US aircraft carrier strike group and nuclear-capable bombers.
KCNA claimed the drills simulated a full scale war against North Korea with the aim of occupying Pyongyang and decapitating its leadership.
The United States and South Korea have described their exercises as defensive in nature and said that the expansion of those drills are necessary to cope with the North’s evolving threats, EsB reported.
According to Metro, tensions are likely to be prolonged as the allies continue their drills and the North uses them as a pretext to ramp up weapons development and intensify drills involving nuclear-capable missiles.
The latest report comes at a particularly worrying time as officials in Seoul said the North did not respond to calls placed over inter-Korean liaison and military hotlines for the fifth consecutive day.
They are intended to prevent accidental clashes along the rivals’ sea borders.
South Korea’s unification minister Kwon Young-se, in charge of handling cross-border affairs, expressed strong regret over the stance, calling it ‘irresponsible’.
He told reporters: ‘We express strong regret over North Korea’s unilateral and irresponsible attitude, and strongly warn that it will eventually isolate itself and put itself in more difficult circumstances.’