North Korea takes action to deter war: state media

SEOUL: North Korea has decided to take “important practical” war deterrent measures, state media reported on Sunday, a day before Seoul and Washington begin their largest joint military exercises in five years.

The decision was made at a meeting of the ruling party’s military commission, chaired by leader Kim Jong Un, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“The meeting discussed and approved the important practical steps for more effective, powerful and offensive use of war deterrence,” KCNA said.

The report said the move was aimed “to deal with the current situation where US and South Korean war provocations are reaching the red line,” but did not elaborate on the measures.

South Korea and the United States are scheduled to begin “Freedom Shield” exercises on Monday, which focus on the “changing security environment” due to North Korea’s increased aggression, the allies said.

All of these drills infuriate North Korea, which sees them as rehearsals for an invasion.

The country has declared that its nuclear weapons and missile programs are in self-defense.

Analysts have said North Korea is likely to use the drills as an excuse to carry out further provocations, including missile tests and maybe even a nuclear test.

On Friday, KCNA reported Kim had ordered the North Korean military to step up drills for a “real war.”

Inspecting a fire attack exercise, Kim urged soldiers to prepare for “two strategic missions, first, to deter war and second, to take the initiative in war,” according to KCNA.

Washington and Seoul have stepped up defense cooperation in the face of growing military and nuclear threats from North Korea, which has conducted increasingly provocative banned weapons tests in recent months. –AFP North Korea takes action to deter war: state media

Russell Falcon

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