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Kim Jong Un Sets War Preparations in Motion Amid Tensions with the U.S.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has issued directives to expedite war preparations by the country’s military, munitions industry, and nuclear weapons sector.

Response To Perceived Threat From U.S.

Credit: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un / AP

This is in response to perceived confrontational actions by the United States, as reported by state media. During a key meeting of the ruling party, Kim also emphasized the expansion of strategic cooperation with “anti-imperialist independent” nations.

Kim’s Call for Accelerated War Preparations

Credit: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves from his train as he leaves Khasan train station in Primorye region, Russia, in April 2019. © Primorsky regional administration / AP

At the recent meeting of North Korea’s ruling party, Kim Jong Un outlined tasks for the People’s Army, munitions industry, nuclear weapons sector, and civil defense sectors, instructing them to intensify their preparations for war, according to the state-run news agency KCNA.

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North Korea’s Growing Ties with Russia

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There have been recent accusations by Washington that North Korea is supplying military equipment to Russia for its conflict in Ukraine, and that Russia has been providing technical support for North Korea’s military advancements.

Enhancing Strategic Cooperation

Credit: DepositPhotos

In this backdrop, Kim Jong Un mentioned plans to expand strategic cooperation with “anti-imperialist independent” countries. This suggests a strengthening of ties with nations like Russia.

Economic Goals for the New Year

Credit: DepositPhotos

Kim Jong Un’s address also included economic objectives for the upcoming year. He referred to 2024 as a “decisive year” for achieving North Korea’s five-year development plan, emphasizing the need for progress in key industrial sectors.

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Agricultural Stability

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Kim called for efforts to stabilize agricultural production at a high level. This is significant given North Korea’s history of food shortages, exacerbated by natural disasters and border closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food Security Concerns

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Although North Korea experienced a year-on-year increase in crop output in 2023 due to favorable weather conditions, experts warn that it remains insufficient to address the nation’s persistent food shortages. A Seoul official noted that food production still falls far short of the country’s needs.

The 9th Plenary Meeting

Credit: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at a year-end meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang on Wednesday in a photo provided by the North Korean government / AP

The 9th plenary meeting of the 8th central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea commenced earlier this week. During this assembly of party and government officials, Kim Jong Un’s directives on war preparations and economic goals were made. These gatherings have become platforms for significant policy announcements in recent years.

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North Korea’s Recent Actions

Credit: DepositPhotos

The past year witnessed North Korea incorporating nuclear policy into its constitution, launching a spy satellite, and test-firing a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). These actions have raised international concerns and tensions.

Kim’s Speech Traditionally Released on New Year’s Day

Credit: Amanda Wesibrod photo illustration/RFA; Kim photo by AFP/KCNA via KNS

Historically, state media has released Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Day speech during such meetings, making them an important event in North Korean politics and policy-setting.

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