Seoul: North Korean state media in a report on Monday said that leader Kim Jong-un supervised an airborne landing training while emphasizing the need to improve the country’s war preparedness.
Kim’s “field guidance” was reported a day after South Korea and the US decided to put off their wartime air exercises to encourage North Korea to return to the negotiation table for its denuclearization, reports Yonhap News agency.
Kim watched “an airborne landing training of sharpshooter sub-units of the Air and Anti-Aircraft Force of the Korean People’s Army (KPA)”, Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in the report.
“It is necessary to wage a drill without notice under the simulated conditions of real war like this and examine it, not being affected by rule and formality, and thus make it an opportunity for improving the preparedness of KPA units for war and examining and training them,” Kim was quoted as saying.
According to footage released by the North’s state TV, the sharpshooters jumped from a plane that appeared to be an An-2 aircraft, which is known to be used for infiltration operations.
In a related development, Kim on Saturday watched the combat flight contest-2019 of the flight commanding officers of the Air and Anti-Aircraft Force of the KPA at Wonsan Kalma Airport near the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, Xinhua news agency reported citing the KCNA as saying.
The flight commanding officers and the combat pilots fully demonstrated the invincible might by displaying the aviation they have trained during the ordinary days, KCNA said.
Kim underscored the need for all the pilots to get fully versed in air tactics and be fully ready for effectively applying them to operations and battles, it added.
On Sunday, the US and South Korea said they were postponing joint air drills, a move that Pyongyang has demanded to keep the momentum alive for dialogue.
The latest working-level talks between the US and North Korea held last month in the Swedish capital of Stockholm broke down due to what Pyongyang described as Washington’s “bold stance and attitude”.