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North Korea to adopt war deterrence measures

North Korea says it has decided to take "important practical" war deterrence measures in an attempt to deal with the United States and South Korea’s provocations, as the two allies are set to hold large-scale joint military drills.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Sunday that the decision was made at a meeting of the ruling party’s military commission presided over by the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.

“The meeting discussed and adopted the important practical steps for making more effective, powerful and offensive use of the war deterrent,” the report said.

The move is aimed at “coping with the present situation in which the war provocations of the US and South Korea are reaching the red line,” it added, without elaborating on the measures.

Washington and Seoul are preparing to kick off their largest joint military exercises in five years on March 13-23.The drills are going to be held despite Pyongyang’s threats to take “unprecedently” strong action against such training.

North Korea urges UN to demand 'immediate halt' to joint military exercises by US, South

Washington and Seoul allege that their joint exercises are defensive in nature, but Pyongyang considers them as rehearsals for invasion of its territory.

Kim calls for intensified drills in case of ‘real war’

Meanwhile, North Korean leader has ordered the country’s military to intensify drills to deter and respond to a “real war” if necessary.

Kim made the remarks on Friday, a day after inspecting a fire assault drill which he said proved the country’s capabilities.

He stressed that the fire assault sub-units should be prepared for “two strategic missions, that is, first to deter war and second to take the initiative in war,” KCNA reported.

On Thursday, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile toward the Yellow Sea, after warning the United States on its joint military drills with the South.

Photos released by KCNA showed at least six missiles being fired at the same time.

According to the news agency, a unit trained for “strike missions” fired a “powerful volley at the targeted waters” and demonstrated its capability to “counter an actual war.”

The Thursday launch adds to a barrage of rockets the North has fired in recent weeks, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) designed to deliver a nuclear warhead to the mainland USA.

Last year, North Korea fired roughly 75 missiles, an annual record, in 36 separate days of testing.

North Korea has defended its missile tests as a legitimate defense against military threats posed by the US-led coalition.

North Korea is reeling under harsh sanctions by the US and UN Security Council over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which have not prevented it from developing its military capabilities as a deterrent against hostile West-led moves.

Pyongyang maintains that it will not tolerate persisting US-led war games in the region, underlining that it will continue responding to joint military maneuvers of its adversaries by holding its own drills as well as developing all sorts of weaponry, including long-range missiles.

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