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North Korean leader Kim tours weapons factories and vows to boost war readiness in face of tensions

by Michael Nguyen
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War readiness

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently conducted tours of crucial weapons factories in the country, which are involved in the production of artillery systems and launch vehicles for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. During these inspections, he vowed to accelerate efforts to enhance the military’s arms and war readiness, as reported by state media on Sunday.

The timing of Kim’s inspections coincided with the United States and South Korea’s upcoming joint military exercises, which are seen as a response to the escalating North Korean threat. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached a peak due to North Korea’s increased missile tests and the intensified military drills, perceived by Kim as preparations for an invasion.

There are speculations that Kim’s factory tours might be connected to potential military collaboration with Moscow, involving the supply of artillery and ammunition, as Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks support from other countries amid the war in Ukraine.

During his visit to a large-caliber artillery systems factory, Kim emphasized the factory’s vital role in perfecting North Korea’s war readiness. He commended the factory’s use of scientific and technological measures to improve shell quality, reduce processing times for propellent tubes, and increase manufacturing speed. Additionally, he called for the development and production of new types of shells.

At another factory producing launcher trucks for ballistic missiles, Kim prioritized increasing the supply of these vehicles for the military and praised the workers for their efforts in establishing a solid production foundation.

Furthermore, Kim visited a factory responsible for engines used in cruise missiles and drones, where he urged the rapid expansion of production.

Amid heightened confrontations with the United States and South Korea, Kim has been attempting to strengthen his alliances with Moscow and Beijing to break out of diplomatic isolation and form a united front against the United States.

It’s worth noting that Kim’s recent parade featuring powerful missiles targeting South Korea and the United States included the presence of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and a Chinese ruling party official, raising suspicions about North Korea’s potential arms supply to Russia for its war efforts in Ukraine.

According to South Korean analyst Cheong Seong Chang, Kim’s visits to the factories might serve a dual purpose – encouraging the modernization of domestically produced weapons and exploring potential artillery and supplies that could be exported to Russia.

Kim’s remarks during the visit to the artillery factory, emphasizing improved shell quality and the development of new ammunition, indicate a clear intention for potential exports to Russia, according to Cheong.

Despite North Korea aligning with Russia over the Ukraine conflict and blaming the US-led West for Moscow’s military actions, the North has denied accusations of providing arms to Russia.

Cheong also suggests that Kim’s comments on missile-launch trucks could signify progress in increasing their production, potentially improving the operational range of ballistic weapons aimed at neighboring rivals and the US mainland.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about War readiness

Q: What did North Korean leader Kim Jong Un do during his recent tours?

A: During his recent tours, Kim Jong Un visited North Korea’s key weapons factories, including those producing artillery systems and launch vehicles for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. He pledged to accelerate efforts to enhance the military’s arms and war readiness.

Q: What prompted Kim Jong Un’s tours of the weapons factories?

A: Kim’s tours came amidst growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with the United States and South Korea preparing for joint military exercises seen as a response to the North Korean threat.

Q: What is the significance of Kim’s possible military cooperation with Moscow?

A: Some experts speculate that Kim’s factory tours could be linked to potential military collaboration with Moscow, involving the supply of artillery and ammunition, as Russia seeks support from other countries during the war in Ukraine.

Q: What specific improvements did Kim highlight during his visit to the factories?

A: At the artillery systems factory, Kim praised efforts to improve shell quality, reduce processing times for propellent tubes, and increase manufacturing speed. At the launcher truck factory, he prioritized increasing the supply of vehicles for ballistic missiles.

Q: How is Kim trying to bolster his alliances amid escalating confrontations?

A: Kim is attempting to strengthen partnerships with Moscow and Beijing to break out of diplomatic isolation and form a united front against the United States and South Korea.

Q: What message did Kim convey during the military parade in Pyongyang?

A: Kim’s parade showcased powerful missiles targeting South Korea and the United States and featured the presence of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, raising suspicions about North Korea’s potential arms supply to Russia for the war efforts in Ukraine.

Q: Is there any indication of North Korea’s support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine?

A: North Korea has been aligning with Russia over the Ukraine conflict, blaming the US-led West for Moscow’s military actions. However, North Korea denies providing arms to Russia to support its fighting in Ukraine.

Q: How could Kim’s focus on missile-launch trucks impact North Korea’s capabilities?

A: Kim’s emphasis on increasing the production of missile-launch trucks could potentially improve the operational range of North Korea’s ballistic weapons, targeting neighboring rivals and the US mainland.

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