According to state media on Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged his party to “accelerate” war preparations, including its nuclear programme.
Only one week prior, Kim had threatened Pyongyang that it would not hold back from launching a nuclear strike if it were “provoked” to do so.
Kim said these things at the North’s ongoing year-end celebration, where he is anticipated to announce important policy choices for 2024.
According to Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, Kim asked the party to “further accelerate the war preparations” across sectors, including nuclear weapons and civil defence.
He also emphasised that “unprecedented” anti-North confrontations with Washington were to blame for the “extreme” state of the “military situation” on the Korean peninsula.