North Korea’s Kim says ‘now is time to be prepared for war’: State media

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says now is the time to be more prepared for war than ever as he visited the country’s main military university, state media reported.

He made his remarks on the same day as rival South Korea’s parliamentary elections on Wednesday, in which the governing party suffered a major defeat, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday.


“Now is the time to be more thoroughly prepared for a war than ever before,” the North Korean leader said at the Kim Jong Il University of Military and Politics, citing the “uncertain and unstable military and political situation” around.

North Korea has, in recent months, stepped up its accusations against South Korea and its ally, the United States, for what it called provoking military tensions by conducting “war manoeuvers” and holding military drills with greater intensity and scale.

In March, Kim also ordered heightened war preparations after inspecting troops at a major military operations base in the country’s west.

North Korea “should be more firmly and perfectly prepared for a war, which should be won without fail, not just for a possible war”, he added.

Since the election of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in 2022, tensions between the two Koreas have been intensifying, with the North declaring the South as its “principal enemy”.

In response to Yoon’s hardline stance towards the North, Kim ordered the scrapping of agencies dedicated to reunification and outreach, and threatened war over “even 0.001mm” of territorial infringement.


‘Death blow’

Kim said, if provoked, North Korea will “deal a death blow to the enemy without hesitation by mobilising all means in its possession”.

Partially blurred images released by state media showed him surrounded by army officials, inspecting what appeared to be a miniature of South Korea’s capital Seoul, including its Han River, along with maps of the peninsula.

South Korea’s Yoon had taken a tough line with the nuclear-armed North while improving ties with the US.

North Korea has been increasing its weapons development under Kim and has forged closer military and political ties with Russia. It has also been accused of aiding Russia in its war with Ukraine.

In March, Russia used its veto power at the United Nations Security Council to effectively end UN expert monitoring of North Korean sanctions violations.


Earlier this month, Kim supervised the test launch of a new hypersonic intermediate-range ballistic missile using solid fuel, which analysts said would bolster the North’s ability to deploy missiles more effectively than liquid-fuel variants.



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