North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has inspected a live-fire artillery drill near the sea border with the rival South in a show of defiance believed to be timed ahead of annual U.S.-South Korean exercises.
The drill, which was reported by state media today, involved artillery and anti-ship rockets and was focused on striking and capturing an enemy island, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Analysts in Seoul said North Korea was attempting to demonstrate its military capabilities ahead of next month’s U.S.-South Korean drills, which Pyongyang has condemned as a rehearsal for an invasion.
The exercise involved the Korean People’s Army’s 4th Corps, which led the 2010 shelling of the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong that left four South Korean soldiers and civilians dead.
Kim expressed ‘great satisfaction’ during the exercise and urged his army to be prepared for battle against the U.S., KCNA reported.