Reported by state media KCNA on Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called upon the nation’s arms industry to escalate the production of missiles and artillery. His aim is to establish a position of “overwhelming military power” to ensure preparedness for potential conflict.
Over the weekend, he visited munitions factories that produce tactical missiles, missile launch platforms, armored vehicles, and artillery shells. It is the a string of visits by Kim to defense facilities.
His remarks come a week before annual military drills between South Korea and the United States, which Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal for war.
“The qualitative level of war preparations depends on the development of the munitions industry and the factory bears a very important responsibility in speeding up the war preparations of the (North) Korean People’s Army,” Kim said.
Since diplomatic channels with former US President Donald Trump closed, North Korea has set itself on a path of boosting military output and enhancing its nuclear weapons.
Pyongyang has conducted more than 100 missile tests, many of which were cited as being in response to US and South Korean military drills in the region.
The United States has accused North Korea of providing weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine, including artillery shells, shoulder-fired rockets, and missiles. North Korea and Russia have denied any arms transactions.
The US said last month that it was “incredibly concerned” about their ties.
Leaders from South Korea, the United States, and Japan are also set to hold a trilateral summit in Washington on Friday, as they seek to bolster security cooperation in response to North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats.