Artillery types

North Korean troops hold artillery firing competition

A North Korean flag flies on a flagpole at North Korea’s Permanent Mission in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

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SEOUL, Nov 7 (Reuters) – North Korean mechanized troops staged an artillery firing competition at the weekend as part of efforts to boost the country’s defense capabilities, state media reported on Sunday.

The drills were carried out on Saturday, state news agency KCNA said, and come amid growing North Korea complaints of what it sees as a double standard where its military activities are drawing criticism. when similar exercises by South Korea and the United States generally do not.

Analysts say Pyongyang is seeking to normalize its defense activities, with the aim of eventually gaining international acceptance of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile arsenals, which have been sanctioned by UN Security Council resolutions. UN.

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Much of North Korea’s large conventional power plants artillery force is deployed along the fortified border with South Korea, where they have the range to reach the heavily populated capital of Seoul.

The drills come “at a time when enthusiasm for intensive training prevails throughout the Korean People’s Army (KPA) to usher in a new climax in building up state defense capabilities under the banner of self-defense. “, reported KCNA.

They were overseen by Pak Jong Chon, a member of the Politburo Presidium and secretary of the Central Committee of Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, KCNA said.

Pak is a general long considered a rising star in the country’s mighty military and a major player in its missile program who was promoted to his current posts in September.

General Rim Kwang Il, chief of the APK General Staff, and commanders of participating units observed the drills with Pak, KCNA said.

“As soon as the firing orders were given by the combined unit commanders, cannon cannons to annihilate the enemy competitively bombarded the target to hit it accurately,” the report said.

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Reporting by Josh Smith Editing by Alistair Bell

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