Analysts say North Korean announcements could indicate plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to frontlines.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered a strengthening of the country’s defence capabilities at a key meeting where top military officials adopted an “important” action plan for frontline troops.
The decisions, reported by state media on Friday, has raised fears that North Korea may be planning to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to frontline artillery units.
Kim presided over the Enlarged Meeting of the 8th Central Military Commission (CMC), where top officials on Thursday “approved an important issue of providing a military guarantee for further strengthening the country’s war deterrent”, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The report made a rare mention of North Korea revising its war plans, saying officials at the meeting had decided to bolster the operational duties of the country’s frontline units with “an important military action plan”.
It also said Kim called for his entire army to “go all out” in carrying out the plans to bolster the nation’s military muscle and consolidate “powerful self-defence capabilities for overwhelming any hostile forces and thus reliably protect the dignity of the great country”.
KCNA did not elaborate on the action plan that was adopted at the meeting, but analysts say the country could be planning to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons targeting South Korea along their tense border.
Hong Min, a senior fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, said North Korea uses the term war deterrent to refer to its nuclear capabilities and said the meeting outcome may mean that Pyongyang has “added the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons in its new…