North Korean leader supervises air force drill

Kim Jong Un supervises air force drills after US and South Korea cancel joint drill in order to promote talks with North Korea.

Elad Benari,

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with military officials
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with military officials
Reuters

North Korean media reported on Monday (local time) that leader Kim Jong Un supervised air force drills for the second time in three days.

North Korean state news agency KCNA said Kim supervised an airborne landing training of sharpshooter sub-units of the Air and Anti-Aircraft Force of the North Korean army.

Kim “said that it is necessary to wage a drill without notice under the simulated conditions of real war” for “improving the preparedness” of North Korean military units, KCNA said.

The drills came hours after the US and South Korea said they would postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster the stalled peace push with North Korea, Reuters reported.

Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.

The drills, already planned to be scaled back from previous years, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea to test readiness.

On Saturday, Kim watched a “combat flight contest” of the flight commanding officers of the Air and Anti-Aircraft Force, according to Reuters.

North Korea has conducted several tests of ballistic missiles since a June meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump, including at the beginning of October, when it tested a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

At the end of October, it tested what was described as “super-large multiple rocket launchers”.

North Korea recently broke off working-level nuclear talks with Washington, with North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator blaming the move on what he portrayed as US inflexibility.

The meeting on the outskirts of Stockholm was the first formal working-level discussion between the US and North Korea since Trump and Kim met in June and agreed to restart negotiations that stalled after a failed summit in Vietnam in February.

Trump has said he's "not happy" about North Korea's persistent testing of short-range missiles but denied the launches violate any agreement.

A senior North Korean official warned several weeks ago that his country is “running out of patience” with the United States.




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