North Korea has conducted a massive military drill in preparation for what it described as “real combat”.
The drill, held at the Wonsan Kalma beach tourist area, involved thousands of troops from the Korean People's Army (KPA). The drill included the launch of multiple missiles and artillery shells, as well as the deployment of ground troops.
According to North Korean state media, the drill was intended to demonstrate the country’s readiness for “a real combat situation”. The media also reported that the drill was meant to “enhance the combat capability of the KPA”.
The drill comes amid heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States, South Korea, and Japan. In recent months, North Korea has tested several ballistic missiles, and has threatened to launch a nuclear strike on the United States.
The United States and its allies have responded to the threats by increasing their military presence in the region, and conducting joint military drills.
The drill in North Korea is seen by analysts as an attempt to show that the country is ready and willing to defend itself in the event of a conflict.
“This is a clear signal that North Korea is willing to use force if necessary,” said Kim Dong-yub, a professor at Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies.
The drill also appears to be an attempt by North Korea to show the world that it is a serious military power, and that it is not to be taken lightly.
The United States and its allies have called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and to return to negotiations. So far, North Korea has refused, and has continued to conduct military drills and missile tests.
It remains to be seen if the recent drill will result in a change in North Korea’s stance towards negotiations. In the meantime, the country appears to be preparing for a “real combat” scenario.