North Korea President Kim Jong-un encouraged its military to be combat ready ahead of the joint military exercises between the United State and South Korea. The communist country is performing artillery drills near the border of South Korea.
President Kim Jong-un is supervising the military drills, according to the state media. During a speech delivered to the Central Military Commission, the North Korean leader emphasized that the country forces should be “fully ready to any form of war to be ignited by the enemy.” He also emphasized the necessity of simplifying the machinery of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
North Korea’s Central Military Commission also discussed a “radical turn” in national defense operations, according to report from the KCSA news agency. The state media did not provide details regarding the matter.
North Korea will take every measure to show its military power
The North Korean leader’s speech came after its military conducted a drill on February 21, which features a simulated attack and capture on the front-line island of South Korea.
Earlier this month, Worker’s Party, the founding and ruling political party of North Korea emphasized that it is necessary for the country to develop accurate, powerful and cutting edge military hardware to be able to cope with modern warfare.
North Korea conducted a test-fire of its new anti-ship cruise missile. The communist country said its military drills are practices for invasion, and it will take every measure to show its military power as long as it perceives persisting threats from the United States.
Earlier this month, it had been reported that Russia is negotiating with North Korea, Brazil, Cuba and Vietnam to conduct joint military exercises. Moscow is not only strengthening its military ties, but also its business relationship with Pyongyang by developing a Business Council for Cooperation. The North Korean leader is scheduled to visit Russian on May 9.
South Korea is closely monitoring North Korea
South Korea is closely monitoring the military drills of North Korea. Its spokesman said. “North Korea should stop taking issue with the joint military exercises, which are defensive and held annually in a transparent way.” He added that Seoul will “keep a close watch” on Pyongyang.
North Korea condemns the joint military exercises between South Korea and United States as provocative. The U.S. and South Korea reiterated that the drills were defensive in nature and both countries have no intentions of attacking North Korea.
A spokesman for South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the U.S. plans to send more soldiers to participate in the operation Key Resolve and Operation Foal Eagle joint-military exercises, which are conducted annually.
The Operation Key Resolve is a command post exercise that ensures that the alliance is prepared to defend South Korea while training the forces of the alliance to respond to any potential event in the peninsula.
On the other hand, the Eagle Foal exercise is a series of a joint and combined training exercises including air, naval, expeditionary and special operations.
South Korea and the United States are scheduled to conduct the joint military exercises next month.
Meanwhile, it had been reported that the United States is demanding North Korea to suspend its activities related to its nuclear program before a resumption of negotiation could happen. Over the past seven years, North Korea made three nuclear tests. The country threatened to conduct another test after the U.S. imposed new sanctions.
A senior official of the U.S. administration previously stated, “We want to test of they have an interest in resuming negotiations. I think we’ve made it very clear that we would like to see them take some steps first.”
The relationship between North Korea and the United States became sour after the hacking incident involving Sony Pictures. The U.S. alleged that the communist country was behind the hacking incident wherein a large number of confidential e-mails and internal documents were released online. North Korea denied any involvement in the security breach.
North Korea bans foreigners from 2015 Pyongyang Marathon
Separately, North Korea banned foreigners from joining the 2015 Pyongyang Marathon on April 12. The Korean government cited concerns over Ebola virus as main reason for banning foreign participants.
The ban was disclosed by Koryo Tours on its website. The travel agency wrote, “We are sorry to announce that our North Korean partners contacted us this morning with news that the 2015 Pyongyang Marathon has — as of today — been closed to amateur and professional foreign runners.”
The communist country also cancelled the Annual Mass Games, a gymnastics festival that attracts foreigners. The government did not provide any reason for the cancellation.