Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro accusé de tuer les étudiants

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Rwandan president claims 'no problem with France'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Paul Kagame visits UNESCO HQ in Paris

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Flamboyant US Congressman's Instagram Lands Him in Bother

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Compromise buys Greece time and Jihadi John is unmasked (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Compromise buys Greece time and Jihadi John is unmasked (part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Drone vs. drone

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The future of agriculture

Read more

REVISITED

Yalta, the symbol of a new Cold War?

Read more

Asia-pacific

Kim tells North Korean troops to prepare for 'impending conflict'

© Photo: AFP (file)

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-26

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has warned his soldiers they must be ready for "impending conflict with the United States," Pyongyang media reported on Saturday as satellites showed a nuclear test could be near.

The report comes as US President Barack Obama finishes up a two-day visit to South Korea, where he warned the North it faced tougher sanctions if the underground detonation went ahead. Obama described North Korea as a weak "pariah state".

It also comes after Pyongyang claimed it had been holding a young American for two weeks.

Kim, the supreme commander of the North's 1.2-million-strong armed forces often visits military units to deliver on-the-spot "guidance" on ways to strengthen preparedness.

He usually lavishes them with praise and presents gifts such as rifles or binoculars as symbols of their vigilance.

But after watching a shelling drill by an artillery sub-unit on Friday, he upbraided soldiers for their lax approach, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

"Dear Supreme Commander Kim Jong-Un said nothing is more important than preparing for combat now, in the face of an impending conflict with the United States", KCNA reported.

North Korean state media regularly carries colourfully-phrased warnings that the isolated state is on the verge of war.

Pointing at a map, Kim ordered the unit to establish a firing position and start the shelling exercise, the agency said, without revealing the location.

"Watching the drill, he severely criticised the sub-unit for failing to make good combat preparation" citing the time it had taken to deploy, it said. He blamed a lack of enthusiasm over training among the sub-unit's commander and his superiors.

"The minds of the commanding officers of this sub-unit and relevant unit seem to be away from the battlefield", he said, KCNA reported.

It is unusual for the agency to carry direct quotes from Kim. "Of course, they might do sideline jobs for improving service personnel's living conditions and do their bit in building a rich and powerful nation. "However, they should always give priority to combat preparations", he said.

Speaking in Seoul on Friday after satellite imagery revealed the North was advancing preparations for a nuclear test, Obama warned it of sanctions with "more bite" unless it fell into line.

North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

Underlining its status as global outlaw, Pyongyang said late on Friday that it had been holding US citizen Miller Matthew Todd, 24, since April 10 because of his "rash behaviour" while passing through immigration.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

 

Date created : 2014-04-26

  • KOREAN PENINSULA

    Ferry disaster, nuclear test fears cloud Obama’s South Korea trip

    Read more

COMMENT(S)