SEOUL, North Korea has decided to take “important, practical” measures for the “offensive use” of war deterrents, state media said Sunday, with the United States and South Korea set to launch their joint military exercise this week.
The decision was made at an enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), presided over by leader Kim Jong-un, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Washington and Seoul are scheduled to kick off the Freedom Shield (FS) exercise Monday for an 11-day run, along with a large-scale field maneuver, called the Warrior Shield.
“The meeting discussed and adopted the important practical steps for making more effective, powerful and offensive use of the war deterrent of the country in coping with the present situation in which the war provocations of the U.S. and south Korea are reaching the red-line,” the KCNA said in an English-language dispatch. It did not specify what the practical measures would be.
The North is widely expected to conduct weapons tests timed with the allies’ combined military exercises, which Pyongyang has long denounced as rehearsal for an invasion.
Kim inspected a “fire assault drill,” simulating its attack on the enemy’s airfield, last week in a bid to check the “actual war” readiness posture of its military.
His younger sister Kim Yo-jong earlier warned her country is ready to take “overwhelming” actions against military activities by the U.S. and the South.
The North also discussed issues of resolving rural problems at the key military meeting, the KCNA said.
They discussed “detailed duties for accelerating rural development, regional construction and grand socialist construction,” as well as “measures for implementing them and ways for using military forces,” it said.
Observers said the North appears to have discussed ways to dispatch the Korean People’s Army to help with the construction of homes in rural areas and other projects aimed at improving people’s lives.
Source: Yonhap News Agency