N. Korean Leader Watches Large-Scale Military Drill

Seoul- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observed a major live-fire drill on its latest military anniversary, state media reported Wednesday, an exercise seen as targeting a US aircraft carrier and South Korea’s capital.

The North’s leader watched the largest-ever combined firing “demonstration” of the Korean People’s Army (KPA)’s servicemen to mark the 85th founding anniversary of the armed forces on Tuesday near an airfield on the eastern front, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The drill is viewed as a show of force, as the US Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is heading toward the Korean Peninsula amid tensions over signs of the North’s provocations.

Mobilization of self-propelled artillery pieces which can reach Seoul and its adjacent areas indicated that Pyongyang seeks to demonstrate its readiness to attack the South if Washington stages a pre-emptive strike on the North, South Korea’s news agency (Yonhap) reported.

“North Korea appeared to show off its military capabilities by mobilizing (its assets) including fighter jets and submarines,” Lee Duk-haeng, spokesman at Seoul’s unification ministry, told a regular press briefing.

The U.S. navy strike group is expected to arrive near the peninsula this weekend for a joint training exercise with South Korean naval ships. The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine, also made a port call in South Korea on Tuesday.

North Korea’s media warned that its military is ready to “sink” the carrier “with a single strike” if needed.

Source: Qatar News Agency