Korea’s Kim Seeks Military Accelerates War Preparations: State Media

Thu Dec 28 2023
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SEOUL: Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, has directed the military, munitions industry, and nuclear weapons sector to expedite war preparations in response to what he deemed as unparalleled confrontational actions by the US.

According to state media reports on Thursday, Kim addressed the policy directions for the upcoming year during a crucial gathering of the nation’s ruling party on Wednesday, also stating Pyongyang’s intentions to broaden strategic partnerships with countries holding an “anti-imperialist independent” stance.

“He (Kim) set forth the militant tasks for the People’s Army and the munitions industry, nuclear weapons and civil defence sectors to further accelerate the war preparations,” KCNA said.

Amid Washington’s accusations of Pyongyang supplying military equipment to Moscow for use in the Ukraine conflict, North Korea has been strengthening its connections with Russia. Simultaneously, Russia has been offering technical support to enhance North Korea’s military capabilities. Additionally, during the meeting, Kim outlined economic objectives for the upcoming year, deeming it a pivotal time to achieve the country’s five-year development plan, as per the report.

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“He … clarified the important tasks for the new year to be dynamically pushed forward in the key industrial sectors,” and called for “stabilising the agricultural production on a high level.”

Food shortages, a longstanding issue in the North, have been exacerbated by natural disasters, with the 1990s witnessing severe famines. The closure of borders during the COVID-19 pandemic further amplified this crisis, as cautioned by global experts. Despite a rise in crop output in 2023 owing to favorable weather conditions, North Korea continues to grapple with chronic food deficits, as confirmed by a Seoul official.

Concurrently, the 9th plenary meeting of the 8th central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea commenced, marking a pivotal moment as the nation solidified its nuclear policy in the constitution, launched a spy satellite, and test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile. These gatherings historically serve as platforms for significant policy declarations, reminiscent of previous instances where state media unveiled Kim’s address on New Year’s Day.

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