North Korean leader Kim calls for intensified drills for ‘real war’

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the military to intensify drills for a “real war,” state media said on Friday, after overseeing a “fire assault drill” that it said proved the country's capability to counter an “actual war.”

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile off its west coast on Thursday, South Korea's military said, adding it was analyzing possibilities the North may have launched multiple missiles simultaneously from the same area.

North Korea's KCNA news agency said a unit trained for “strike missions” fired a “powerful volley at the targeted waters” and demonstrated its capability to “counter an actual war.” Kim examined the “actual war response posture” of the eighth fire assault company.

“He stressed that the fire assault sub-units should be strictly prepared for the greatest perfection in carrying out the two strategic missions, that is, first to deter war and second to take the initiative in war, by steadily intensifying various simulated drills for real war ...,” KCNA added.

The latest missile launch came as the US and South Korea were set to kick off large-scale military exercises known as the Freedom Shield drills next week.

North Korea has long bristled at the allies' drills as a rehearsal for invasion.

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