In what is seen by its rival South Korea as an effort to further strengthen its defense capabilities against South Korea and the U.S., North Korea conducted a rocket firing contest and simulated combat flight drill that was personally supervised by its leader Kim Jong Un.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korea's reclusive leader guided a firing contest of multiple launch rocket systems under simulated war conditions, and operated by the units of the Korean People's Army. The head of the rogue state was reportedly satisfied with the contest and drill as he emphasized also that it is very crucial for commanding officers and troops to be ready to strike targets at any time.
The communist country's leader also oversaw a night time assault combat flight drill of fighter pilots from the Korean People's Air and Anti-Air Forces who were successful in blasting targets on the ground.
Kim reportedly gave a speech of appreciation after the drills as he reiterated to his troops that they should be ready to defend the territorial air of the country at any time and in any weather condition, because modern warfare is waged in the worst of conditions. He also said it was necessary that all his fighter pilots be fully prepared to act as able airmen and all-around ones and be capable of successfully carrying out all aerial combat duties in any adversity. Part of their training and preparation would be to conduct more similar drills in the future.
Kim showed his satisfaction to his men by shaking their hands after the drills, a gesture that reportedly drove the men to tears. He also took photos of them and congratulated them.
A South Korean military expert views the drills as serving more of a defensive purpose as opposed to the more offensive drills North Korea undertook twice in the past month.
Kim Min-seok, a senior researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum said that an interceptor fighter has the aim of prohibiting enemy fighter jets from entering North Korean territory and that the said military exercise conducted by North Korea is in preparation to respond to a possible ambush by South Korean and U.S. soldiers.
Kim Dong- Yeop, a researcher at the Seoul-based Institute for Far Eastern Studies for his part views the military exercise as North Korea's way of " showing off" its capability of conducting massive retaliation with conventional weapons even without using nuclear weapons.