Kim Jong Un (centre) attends a meeting of the Central Military Commission in Pyongyang, North Korea. AP
Members of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission decided to supplement an "important military action plan” on the duties of front-line troops and further strengthen the country’s nuclear war deterrent, state media said on Friday.
North Korea hasn’t specified the new operational duties for front-line army units, but analysts say the country could be planning to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons targeting rival South Korea along their tense border.
While North Korea's pursuit of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that could reach the U.S. mainland gets much of the international attention, it is also developing a variety of nuclear-capable short-range missiles that can target South Korea. Experts say its rhetoric around those missiles communicates a threat to proactively use them in warfare to blunt the stronger conventional forces of South Korea and the United States. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in the South to deter aggression from the North.
Kim Jong Un holds a meeting with military commission in Pyongyang, North Korea. Reuters
Kim during the military commission's three-day meeting that ended Thursday called for his entire army to "go all out” in carrying out the plans to bolster the nation’s military muscle and consolidate "powerful self-defense capabilities for overwhelming any hostile forces and thus reliably protect the dignity of the great country.”
The report by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency did not include any direct criticism toward Washington or Seoul amid a prolonged stalemate in nuclear negotiations.
Jolting an old pattern of brinkmanship, North Korea has already set an annual record in ballistic testing through the first half of 2022, firing around 30 missiles in over 18 launch events, including its first tests involving intercontinental ballistic missiles in nearly five years.
Kim has punctuated his recent tests with repeated comments that North Korea would use its nuclear weapons proactively when threatened or provoked, which experts say portend an escalatory nuclear doctrine that may create greater concerns for neighbors.Associated Press
The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the South Korean defence minister a "scum-like guy” for talking about preemptive strikes on the North, warning on Sunday that the South may face "a serious threat.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country aimed to have the world's most powerful nuclear force as he celebrated the launch of its newest intercontinental ballistic missile at a ceremony with his young daughter.
Neither president's approach has led to a major breakthrough, however, and North Korea has resumed testing its largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), while intelligence reports suggest it is preparing for a new nuclear test.
The report said young villagers from Myanmar were being flown to its Delhi hospital and enticed to sell their kidneys to rich Burmese patients. Apollo Hospitals did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The fire started at a furniture store and quickly engulfed other shops on the ground floor of the building known as Ayesha Manzil, said Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab. He said firefighters doused the flames after hectic efforts.
The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has warned of fog formation that will affect the horizontal visibility, advising road users and motorists to exercise caution and abide by traffic instructions.
The PTI chief appealed last year in the IHC against the ECP finding that he had unlawfully sold state gifts. However, in January, Imran sought to withdraw that appeal so that another appeal at the Lahore High Court could proceed.