North Korea’s Kim Oversees Military Meeting Amid Potential Nuclear Test

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a convocation of the expansion of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on June 22, 2022. KCNA via REUTERS

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SEOUL, June 23 (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continued to chair the second day of the country’s main party meeting on military and defense policy on Wednesday, state media reported Thursday, amid concerns over a possible impending nuclear weapon. . to test.

At the meeting, the party discussed adding operations duties to the frontline units, changing operations plans and restructuring key military organizational formations, Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said, and Kim stressed the importance of efforts to enhance the operational capabilities of the frontline units. †

The meeting is being closely watched as it could provide clues as to the timing of a nuclear test, which the North has been preparing for weeks. South Korean officials have said the test could come “any time” and the timing will be determined by Kim.

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But an official in South Korea’s presidential office said on Wednesday that he thought North Korea could delay what would be its seventh nuclear test, given China’s political calendar and the country’s COVID-19 situation.

Kim Jong Un chaired Tuesday’s military meeting, which KCNA said would discuss key tasks to further strengthen the function and role of the military committees at all levels, as well as the party’s military policy and core defense policies.

Last year, Kim made plans for military development, including smaller atomic bombs, hypersonic missiles, spy satellites and drones.

In April, he called on the country’s military to “strengthen their strength in every possible way to destroy the enemy”, and has tested an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles this year, including massive intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), new hypersonic missiles and a short-range missile that may be designed for tactical nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, North Korea recently reported an outbreak of an unidentified gut epidemic in its illustrious region, which has further strained its isolated economy and is already battling chronic food shortages and a spate of COVID-19 infections.

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Reporting by Joori Roh; Additional reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Sandra Maler

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