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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the third enlarged meeting of the political bureau of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, North Korea September 2, 2021 in this image supplied by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on September 3, 2021. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.

International

Kim Jong Un Urges Readiness for War, Declares Now is the Time: State Media

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a visit to the country’s main military university, emphasized the need for heightened war preparedness, as reported by state media. His remarks coincided with South Korea’s parliamentary elections, where the governing party faced a significant defeat.

Kim stressed the importance of being more thoroughly prepared for war amidst what he described as an uncertain and unstable military and political environment. The North Korean leader cited increased military tensions, accusing South Korea and the United States of provocative actions through intensified military drills.

Following the election of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in 2022, tensions between the two Koreas have escalated, with North Korea labeling the South as its “principal enemy.” In response to Yoon’s hardline stance, Kim dismantled agencies focused on reunification efforts and issued threats of war over any perceived territorial infringement.

Kim warned that if provoked, North Korea would swiftly retaliate, mobilizing all available means to deal a decisive blow to the enemy. Images released by state media depicted Kim inspecting models representing South Korea’s capital, Seoul, and maps of the peninsula, surrounded by military officials.

Under Kim’s leadership, North Korea has intensified its weapons development and cultivated closer ties with Russia, raising concerns about its involvement in conflicts such as Russia’s war with Ukraine. In March, Russia utilized its veto power at the UN Security Council to halt UN expert monitoring of North Korean sanctions violations.

Furthermore, Kim recently oversaw the test launch of a new hypersonic intermediate-range ballistic missile, utilizing solid fuel technology. Analysts noted that this advancement enhances North Korea’s missile deployment capabilities compared to liquid-fuel variants.

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