North Korea's dictator leader Kim Jong-un has called on the military to intensify missile test drills to simulate "real war".
The brute supervised a live-fire artillery drill simulating an attack on a South Korean airfield and called for his troops to be ready to respond to the enemies.
It's an apparent threat to the recent series of military drills between allies the United States and South Korea.
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said a unit trained for “strike missions” fired a “powerful volley at the targeted waters” and demonstrated its capability to “counter an actual war”.
It continued: “[Kim] stressed that the fire assault sub-units should be strictly prepared for the greatest perfection in carrying out the two strategic missions, that is, first to deter war and second to take the initiative in war, by steadily intensifying various simulated drills for real war."
The United States and South Korea are due to start large-scale joint military exercises known as Freedom Shield.
The US has recently sent long-range B-1B and B-52 bombers for several rounds of joint aerial drills with South Korean warplanes, to counter the growing threat of Kim’s growing nuclear arsenal.
North Korea sees these drills as a provocation and an excuse to practice invasion.
“This is likely only the beginning of a series of provocative tests by North Korea,” Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul said to Al Jazeera.
“Pyongyang is poised to respond aggressively to major U.S.-South Korea defence exercises, as well as to President Yoon’s upcoming summits with Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden.
"The Kim regime may order missile firings of longer ranges, attempt a spy satellite launch, demonstrate a solid-fuel engine and perhaps even conduct a nuclear test.”
Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, warned earlier this week that any move to shoot down one of its test missiles would be considered a declaration of war.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry urged North Korea today to stop raising tensions with “reckless nuclear and missile programs and military provocations”.
Kim's latest comments were in line with an escalatory nuclear doctrine the country set into law last year.
It authorises preemptive nuclear strikes in situations where it may perceive its leadership as under threat.
Photos published by North Korea’s official newspaper showed at least six rockets being fired from launch vehicles lined up in an unspecified coastal forest area.
Kim watched the firings from an observation post along with military officials and his daughter, believed to be named Kim Ju-ae and around 10 years old.
Since November, Ju-ae has made seven public appearances and North Korea also issued stamps depicting her and her father at the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Many think this is the leader preparing her to succeed him as head of the world’s only hereditary communist dictatorship.