Pictures published by North Korean state media showed the hermit kingdom's leader talking to a room full of uniformed top generals while holding a cigarette. The leader pointed at maps and discussed "major military actions" against South Korea during that meeting of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Workers' Party of Korea.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the meeting centered on the matters of "making full war preparations and ensuring perfect military readiness for a war." Kim also reached an "important conclusion on further stepping up the war preparations of the KPA [Korean People's Army] in an offensive way."
The North Korean leader called for "all the munitions industrial establishments to push ahead with the mass-production of various weapons and equipment," KCNA said in an Aug. 10 report. "He also called for actively conducting actual war drills to efficiently operate [the] newly-deployed latest weapons and equipment."
Kim also dismissed Gen. Park Su-Il, chief of the KPA's general staff department, during the same meeting. The state-run outlet said he was replaced with Vice Marshal Ri Yong-Gil but refused to elaborate.
Cheong Seong-chang, a researcher at the South Korean think tank Sejong Institute, said Ri may have been the "most suitable person" to replace Pak as the vice marshal has previously held the position for a long time.
"Kim has shown a tendency to quickly replace officials when they are judged to be lacking in the ability to control and perform their duties," he said. Cheong added that Pak, who was promoted to the post in late 2022, may have been dismissed "because he did not demonstrate sufficient competence in the field of military operations."
The meeting came days after Kim inspected key arms factories in the hermit kingdom. It also followed Seoul and Washington preparing for major drills in August. Pyongyang has repeatedly warned that the joint exercises, which it claims are rehearsals for invasion, could trigger "overwhelming" action in response.
An official from the South Korean Ministry of Unification told members of the media that the latest KCNA report appeared to be Pyongyang's "own response to the upcoming joint military training between Seoul and Washington." He commented on photos of Kim pointing to what looks like a map of the South Korean capital, which was published by the North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper: "I think he wanted to send a message to the South with a threatening action."
The CMC meeting also discussed preparations for a massive parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of North Korea on Sept. 9. The country was established on Sept. 9, 1948, under the leadership of founding father Kim Il-Sung – Jong-Un's grandfather – as premier.
In July of this year, North Korea held a major military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice agreement. The July 27 parade served as a celebration of the country's Victory Day when the armistice agreement was signed in 1953. (Related: Kim Jong-Un shows off new ATTACK DRONES and BALLISTIC MISSILES in military parade.)
According to Newsweek, the younger Kim oversaw the parade alongside Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The Russian official saw Pyongyang's nuclear missiles and a new drone weapon during a concurrent defense expo. The Hwasong-17 and Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles seen by Shoigu are reportedly capable of reaching targets anywhere in the United States.
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Watch this G News report about North Korea saying its missile tests simulate an attack on South Korea.
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