Alwaght- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the military to boost its strike capability a day after he directed a successful long-range strike drill amid stalled nuclear negotiations with the United States.
Kim “stressed the need to further increase the capability of the defense units in the forefront area and on the western front to carry out combat tasks and keep full combat posture to cope with any emergency,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Friday.
He noted "genuine peace and security of the country are guaranteed only by the strong physical force capable of defending its sovereignty,” it said, adding Kim "set forth important tasks for further increasing the strike ability."
Kim’s call for "full combat posture" came a day after he observed the test fire of two long-range ballistic weapons that were initially presumed to be short range missiles.
South Korea’s military said Pyongyang test-fired two short-range missiles from the northwestern city of Kusong on Thursday.
KCNA said on Friday Kim himself ordered and oversaw the “long-range strike drills,” which were designed to test the military's "rapid reaction" ability.
The North Korean leader reportedly expressed satisfaction with the drill and stressed "the need to further increase the capability" of the country’s armed forces on its western front.
Thursday’s firing came less than a week after Pyongyang tested several new weapons systems, the first confirmed launches of their kind since November 2017.
The North put a halt on its missiles and nuclear test launches, shortly before a diplomatic thaw began between Pyongyang and Seoul and led to the first ever summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore last June.
In February, Trump and Kim met for a second time at a summit in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, but the meeting broke up without an agreement or even a joint statement as the two sides failed to reach an agreement.
Trump walked away from the summit, claiming that Kim had insisted on the removal of all sanctions on North Korea. Pyongyang rejected that account, stressing that it had only asked for a partial lifting of the bans.