Kim Jong Un made the remarks while addressing a Monday meeting of the Central Military Commission, the official Korean Central News Agency, KCNA, reported on Tuesday.
Kim urged the country’s war deterrence capacity to be strengthened with “increasing speed” and in a “more practical and offensive” manner to “cope with the escalating moves of the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet traitors to unleash a war of aggression,” the agency added.
The South and the US have been conducting a series of war games since the start of the year, involving an American aircraft carrier as well as American B-1B and B-52 bombers. The North considers such military maneuvers rehearsals for invasion of its territory.
Pyongyang, on its part, has been trying to keep up with the flurry of military activities on the Korean Peninsula, including by unveiling new, smaller nuclear warheads, testing of a nuclear-capable underwater attack drone, and firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile reportedly capable of striking anywhere inside the United States.
According to the KCNA, the joint military drills by the US and its regional allies were intended to prepare for “an all-out war” and forced Pyongyang to explore “powerful practical action,” including military options.
The meeting, therefore, “discussed practical matters and measures for [North Korea’s war] machinery to prepare various military action proposals for which no means and ways of counteraction are available to the enemy,” it added.
The North, which declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power last year, has also ordered expansion of its nuclear arsenal in a move described by Kim as solely being aimed at defending the country as well as regional peace and stability.
Last Thursday, North Korea warned that joint military drills by the United States and South Korea were pushing tensions on the Korean Peninsula to the “brink of a nuclear war,” vowing to respond with “offensive action.”
The country published a commentary by Choe Ju-hyon, whom it identified as an international security analyst, describing the drills as “a trigger for driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the point of explosion.”
“The reckless military confrontational hysteria of the US and its followers against the DPRK is driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula to an irreversible catastrophe… [and] to the brink of a nuclear war,” the commentary read, using the abbreviation for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.