North Korea’s talks of new military duty suggest nuclear deployment

Seoul, South Korea (AP) – North Korea will discuss delegating additional operational duties to its frontline military units at a major military meeting, state media said on Thursday, a suggestion that the country may engage with rival South Korea. Wants to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons targeting Korea. ‘Stress limit.

The discussion comes as South Korean officials said North Korea has completed preparations for its first nuclear test in five years, in line with its potential efforts to develop short-range warheads capable of hitting targets in South Korea. According to.

During an ongoing meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission on Wednesday, leader Kim Jong Un and other top military officials discussed “the task of further confirming the operational duties of the Korean People’s Army’s frontline units and revising the operation”. Of. plans,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

KCNA said Kim also ordered steps to be taken to “enhance the operational capabilities of frontline units”.

In April, when North Korea tested a new type of tactical guided weapon, it said the weapon was “of great importance in improving the frontline firepower of long-range artillery units, enhancing efficiency in operations”. (of North Korea) strategic nuclear and diversification of their firepower missions.

Its use of the terms “tactical nukes” suggested that the weapon was a short-range weapon system equipped with a nuclear warhead. Some experts said at the time that North Korea intended to deploy weapons that threatened key facilities, including US military bases in South Korea.

Later in April, Kim said that North Korea could already use its nuclear weapons if threatened, adding that its nuclear “won’t be limited to a single mission of deterrence” in situations where The North faces external threats to its “fundamental interests”. This portended a potentially incremental nuclear doctrine by North Korea that could be of greater concern to South Korea, Japan and the United States.

Kim called a meeting of the Central Military Commission earlier this week to confirm “important and urgent actions” to expand military capabilities and implement key defense policies.

Cheong Seong-chang, a senior analyst at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute, said the meeting with North Korea is expected to precede its seventh nuclear test, adding that its third nuclear test in 2013 was also a meeting of the Central Military Commission. And it happened a few days after the meeting.

Cheong said that before this week’s meeting, Kim had called a total of 16 meetings of the Central Military Commission since taking power in late 2011, but this is the first time that the commission has met for more than two days. .

Wednesday was the second day of the commission’s meeting. The KCNA said the commission has continued its discussions on the agenda items presented, indicating that the meeting will continue on Thursday.

Earlier this year, North Korea launched a test of missiles whose potential ranges put both the US mainland and its Asian allies such as South Korea and Japan within striking distance. Some experts say North Korea wants to modernize its weapons systems and boost its leverage in future talks with the United States to secure sanctions relief and other concessions.

South Korean and US officials have warned North Korea of ​​dire consequences if it conducts a nuclear test. But divisions among the permanent members of the UN Security Council do not explain the prospects for new punitive international sanctions on North Korea. Russia and China this year vetoed US-sponsored proposals that could have increased sanctions, insisting Washington should focus on reviving talks.

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